LA Test Determines Children Likely to Join Gangs

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Los Angeles officials say a new test may help determine which kids could join street gangs.
Researchers at the University of Southern California found ten factors that may help channel children into becoming members of gangs.

The factors include poor parenting, justifying delinquent behavior and traumatic events. The findings were used to develop the 74 question survey known as the Youth Services Eligibility Test.

"Although kids are told answers are confidential, it's a lot to expect honest responses," said Jorja Leap, a gang expert at University of California, Los Angeles.

"These are kids who are afraid of arrest, afraid of being taken away from their parents," she added. "They've been schooled in not being truthful. It can take years to get their confidence."

Mother Lorenza Monzon was somewhat pleased to find out that her chronic-F daughter, Andrea, "failed" the test.

"I want something that's going to help her. Her grades are so low and her attitude is so bad," said Monzon, 29. "I'm afraid she'll get into drugs. She needs counseling."

A child with at least five factors is deemed at risk and will be offered programs such as counseling, anger management, and tutoring.

Source: Gaea Times

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