About 40 percent had dropped out of school; 57 percent were in school. Fifty-three percent reported becoming involved with gangs through introductions by friends and peers.All the gang members, parents, and guardians reported experiencing racism to varying degrees.They beat him so badly that steel plates had to be implanted in his skull to keep it from collapsing.
The study found a high rate of teen fatherhood: more than one-quarter of their sample (28 percent, or 175 teenagers) reported that they had become fathers before their 20th birthdays.
I remember reading an article in the mid-1980s in which the author stated that "Every day in America, forty teen-age girls give birth to their third child." I don't know what happened to that article or who wrote it, but that statement has never left my thoughts.
What quality of parenting or quality of life can be expected in a family in which the mother is a 15, 16, or 17 year old? to teenage mothers are at risk for long-term problems in many major areas of life, including school failure, poverty, and physical or mental illness.
She never found a meaningful way to discipline him so, when he acted out, his behavior continued without restraint. He began associating with other aggressive children which, she felt, led to his gang involvement.
In desperation, she now stands quietly on the sidelines crying and watching her son get in and out of trouble.
Parents and guardians did not want their children to join gangs and often actively tried to discourage gang involvement, but they realized that their children's life chances outside the gangs and outside the inner city are limited.