Adolescent Gang Membership and Adverse Behavioral, Mental Health, and Physical Health Outcomes in Young Adulthood: A Within-Family Analysis

Eric J. Connolly, Dylan B. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research suggests that adolescent gang membership increases the likelihood of adverse behavioral and mental health outcomes during adolescence. Less research, however, has examined whether gang membership is associated with adverse outcomes in young adulthood, and whether these associations remain after controlling for genetic and shared environmental factors that cluster within families. Data from a sample of full sibling pairs from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 are analyzed to test these hypotheses. Multivariate logistic regression models show that gang membership is associated with higher odds of arrest, alcohol abuse, severe anxious and depressive symptomatology, high school drop-out status, poor general health, and not seeking medical attention when needed in young adulthood. After controlling for familial confounding, siblings with a history of adolescent gang membership are more likely to report an arrest, never graduating high school, and severe anxious and depressive symptomatology. Implications of these results for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1566-1586
Number of pages21
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume46
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • adulthood
  • adverse health
  • gang membership
  • NLSY97
  • siblings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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