Children who cannot find non-delinquent friends who can give them a sense of identity and social support may be attracted to delinquent ones who can respond to the former’s social and identity needs (Siegel, 2014). At the same time, children who are already delinquent tend to be more attracted to similarly-behaving friends (Barnes et al., 2010). Their kinship is based on their shared psychological profiles. Together, they reinforce each other’s aggressiveness and delinquent habits and conduct more crimes than when they are separated (Barnes et al., 2010). At the same time, the mob or group factor also has a developmental basis. Delinquent kids conduct more crimes in gangs because of the anonymity and loss of responsibility that gangs offer. In their gangs, they feel anonymous and invisible. They may also feel less responsible for their crimes because they did it as a group. Developmentally, they lack the psychosocial maturity needed to reject peer pressure and to feel responsible for the consequences of their actions.
Sociological reasons are also varied, where the social disorganization view states that poverty is a critical factor in gang membership. Living in the slums presents destructive elements that make children feel that their only way to survive is to join gangs (Siegel, 2014). The slums represent hopelessness and helplessness, and these children want to feel more empowered and in control of their lives. They are aware that they have limited options for gaining wealth and status, so they attain them through gang membership (Siegel, 2014). The conventional means have failed them, thus, they commit gang delinquency behaviors to pursue success, status, and social acceptance (Siegel, 2014).
Besides the social disorganization view, the anomie/alienation view asserts that children who feel alienated seek for a