Monday, February 25, 2008

Profile of a street gang member

One of your old friends has seriously changed in the last months. He has a specific dress code, consume alcohol and drugs, have problems with the cops, etc. Here is a profile of a street gang member to see to recognize is your friend is really involved in one of those gangs (I'm sure I won't happen with some of you but mostly in poor neighbourhoods):

Common personality traits of street gang members:

More often than not, the emotional, psychological and social needs of street gang members are often unfulfilled. Some of these traits can be simply natural in teenagers. However, it is important to observe the behaviour as a whole and if these traits are exaggerated, it is worth looking more closely.

Behaviours problems (violence)
Low self-esteem
Need for glorification
Rejection of standard

These indicators must be considered together to be deemed meaningful. Some of these behaviours may just be the usual signs of teenage hood.

The teen:

Seems to dress according to a specific dress code (specific clothing)
Wears clothing or owns items that he or she could not normally afford to buy
Has less and less interest in school
Has lost interest in former friends and activities
Has new, older friends identified by nicknames, whom the parent has never met
Consumes alcohol and drugs
Goes to street gang Internet chat sites
Uses hateful or racist language
Has been the victim of crime or fears being victimized
Has had problems with the police
Owns a weapon

You can now distinguish a usual teenager from a dangerous gang member. I hope you appreciate the topic and hope you learned something from this post. If you see these signs or behaviours in someone, try not to be too close of him if he's just someone you barely know or if he's a friend, ask for help.

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