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Why do young people join gangs? A psychologist's view

Ian Millward
IJJO. 5th International Conference. London.2012


The need to feel emotionally and physically safe: 
This is the fundamental need for adolescents to feel safe in their ‘environment’. Initially, this is provided by parents or carers, and later by school and community.
The need to belong:
This is the emotional need for adolescents to feel they 'belong‘ and to develop a sense of identity. It is initially provided by parents and family and later by friends, school and community and membership of sports teams, clubs, hobby groups or religious groups. The importance of 'belonging' is to feel accepted by 'significant others' who at times of crisis and distress contain fears and anxieties and provide unconditional reassurance and support.


National - United Kingdom

Year Language

2012 English

Category Type

Grey Literature Paper


Delinquency, Gangs


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