In order to provide insights into the status of troublesome youth groups in the European context, the present study examines three separate surveys of school children aged 13 to 16 years who resided in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, and the Netherlands.
In the first decade of the 21st century, the Eurogang Program of Research (hereafter referred to as the Eurogang Network), a group of U.S. and European criminologists, began a systematic effort to examine the European gang phenomenon. However, the notion that American-style street gangs represent a real threat to European nations has not been universally accepted, as critics warn about the dangers of making gangs and gang members into "folk devils" for a broad range of societal ills. In order to provide insights into the status of troublesome youth groups in the European context, the present study examines three separate surveys of school children aged 13 to 16 years who resided in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, and the Netherlands. Using definitional and research protocols developed by the Eurogang Network, this article explores correlates of individual delinquency reported by street gang members and members of other delinquent youth groups that reportedly engaged in criminal activities but were not defined as street gangs using the Eurogang Network definition. The study turns on the extent to which the self-reported individual and group misbehavior can be understood in terms of personal-biographical characteristicsbut especially citizenship status, specific youth-group membership, and nation of current residenceand the influence of putative risk and protective measures. The implications for youth gang intervention efforts are discussed, along with what the findings suggest about comparative efforts to explain misbehavior by members of two types of troublesome youth groups. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
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