Why Do People Join Gangs?

As per the National Youth Gang Survey Analysis, there’s a 30% increase in gangs since 2006. 

The number of people engaging in gangs is increasing every year. Surprisingly, young people are a large portion of that number. With this comes the question – why do people join gangs?

Today we’ll talk about the reasons why people join gangs. So, without further ado, let’s jump straight to our first topic.

Why Do People Join Gangs?

People join gangs to get the feeling of ‘family’ or ‘community.’ But that isn’t the only reason, some other reasons include, status, peer pressure, and identity.

Why Do People Join Gangs?

The primary reason why people join gangs is to get a feeling of ‘family.’ They want to experience a sense of community and feel valued. Other potential reasons consist of achieving social status. 

Many people think that joining gangs is the easiest way of gaining ‘position’ and ‘respect.’ These are, of course, basic human needs. However, it’s sad that these needs aren’t always met in good places. 

Joining a gang just for the sake of the community isn’t the right move. In simple words, gangs are dangerous communities. Now this question might pop in your mind – if gangs aren’t the right place to experience togetherness, where can we find it? 

Well, we have got the answer ready for you. Performance groups and sports groups are a safe and healthy way to achieve ‘togetherness.’

A gang consists of people that mostly talk about common identities. So there’s no way you’re going to end up any different from them. 

Groups are generally known for their involvement in the rivalry with the opposite gangs. In many cases, they are usually seen to be linked with criminal activities.

So joining a gang means risking your life and career.

General Reasons Why People Join a Gang

Gang involvement is increasing among teenagers. The primary age group of most gang members ranges from 13 to 35+ years. They are a terrible influence on today’s youth.

The reasons why people join gangs aren’t limited to the ones shared above. There are various other reasons why people decide to join a gang. Let’s talk about those general reasons.


A common reason why people are desperate about joining gangs is negligence. They are mostly those individuals who have been abused in the past. This leads them to join gangs for love and affection they’ve never received. All they need is to feel like a valuable member of a family.

Peer Pressure

Some people join gangs because of peer pressure. It can drastically harm one, both physically and psychologically. Therefore, if one joins a gang, they might have a legacy to carry.


Another reason that encourages people to join gangs could be the ‘social status.’ It’s discovered that a significant number of teenagers believe joining gangs is pretty cool. This influences them to join groups, to get that tag of ‘bad boy.’ It seems stupid, but it’s the truth. 


Gang members know that they cannot achieve a strong identity as a sole entity. So they use the gangs as a medium to gain it. They visualize themselves as the guardians who protect the neighborhood from the outside world. The heroic identity is what influences other people, especially youths, to join gangs.

Personal Reasons Why People Join Gangs

There are various personal reasons why young people get into gangs. Here are some of those personal reasons. Read them carefully, because your reason might be on the list too. 

  • The excitement and fun gang activities
  • The need for belongingness 
  • Attention and peer pressure 
  • Financial benefit and family tradition
  • Lack of realization about hazards involved in gangs

Students with poor self-esteem use gangs as a medium to increase their self-concept. These young individuals seek to achieve recognition for the activities they do.

It doesn’t matter if achieving it goes through a criminal path. Gangs offer those extra pats-on-the-back that teens may not get at school or at home. 

Early Warning Signs of Your Kid’s Gang Involvement

As a parent, no one wants their kid to be a part of a gang. The truth is that we don’t have full control over our kid’s thoughts. But what we can do is stop them before things get out of hand. 

So here are some early warning signs for kids’ gang involvement. If your kids show these signs, it’s time to throw some restrictions. Here’s how the list of signs looks.

  • Continuous decrease in the grades
  • Change in the friend circle
  • Sharing offensive and gang-related stuff on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook
  • Have started to keep late hours more often
  • Addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • Falling grades and decreased interest in education and career goals
  • The tone and way of talking with people, especially parents, become more disrespectful 
  • Own expensive items and a large sum of money whose source they cannot explain
  • Development in the attitude problems with teachers, parents and other authoritative body
  • Glamorize gangs often or believes in the superiority of gangs
  • An abrupt or secretive change in behavior
  • Less or no time spent with the family and good friends
  • Sudden change in their taste in music and style
  • Adoption of unethical and inappropriate fashion sense
  • Body modification such as tattoos, burns, scarring, etc
  • Generally use gang-style language
  • Having pictures or postures of gang names, logos, or slogans in the bedroom

So these were some early signs of gang involvement. If your kids show them, they might be involved in a gang. In either case, you have to take specific measures for your kid. 

Final Words

So these were all the reasons why people join gangs. To sum up, a gang isn’t a place where you’ll ever achieve success without criminal charges. It’s not the place where you belong, so don’t walk on that path. 

Help save others from walking down a path whose end is behind the bar. 

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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