Associations between school violence, military connection, and gang membership in California secondary schools. Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent studies have found that military-connected students confront many challenges-such as secondary traumatization-that may stem from a parent's deployment and frequent relocations. It is possible that multiple moves and deployments of family service members are associated with military-connected students' gang membership and involvement with school violence behaviors. In this study, a total of 13,484 students completed the core and military modules of the California Healthy Kids Survey. Logistic regressions examined the odds of a student being a member of a gang given their grade, gender, race/ethnicity, school violence behaviors, military-connectedness, changes in schools, and familial deployments. Results indicated that of the nearly 8% of students sampled who reported being in a gang, those with a parent or sibling currently serving in the military reported a higher prevalence rate of gang membership than students with no military connection. Students who reported being in fights or carrying weapons to school were at least twice more likely to be a gang member than students who reported not having been in fights or carrying weapons. Changing schools 4 or more times in a 5-year period and experiencing at least 1 familial deployment were also associated with an increased likelihood of gang membership. The findings of this study offer incentive to further explicate the gang and school violence experiences of military-connected students. This study supports schools in understanding the characteristics of the military-connected students and families they serve so they can implement appropriate interventions to curb gang and school violence behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record

published proceedings

  • Am J Orthopsychiatry

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Estrada, J. N., Gilreath, T. D., Sanchez, C. Y., & Astor, R. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Estrada, Joey Nuñez||Gilreath, Tamika D||Sanchez, Cathia Y||Astor, Ron Avi

publication date

  • January 2017