University Study to Examine Long-Term Effects of Gang Association for Women

Alice Cepeda, an associate professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles is embarking on a new study that will explore the long-term effects of gang life on women. Backed by a $3 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Dr. Cepeda will seek out and interview women who participated in an earlier study of women associated with gangs that was conducted 15 years ago.

Many of the young women in the earlier study had experienced intimate partner violence, engaged in criminal behavior, and used drugs. About 30 percent were mothers by the age of 16.

In preliminary interviews with some of the subjects of the original study, Dr. Cepeda found that 64 percent reported intimate partner violence, 63 percent had spent time in jail and half were unemployed. The new study will examine rates of obesity, health, rate of infection of sexually transmitted diseases, depression, and other factors among the women in the earlier study who are now in their early 30s.

Avelardo Valdez, professor at the School of Social Work who will be involved in the research, stated that “hopefully we will be able to identify factors that led some of these women to lead more conventional lives. That’s the payoff of this research.”

Dr. Cepada holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply