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The Path Less Traveled: Path Analysis and the Psychology of Gang Members

Case
By: James A. Densley Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
Methods: Path analysis
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Abstract

This case study tells the story behind the article, “Social dominance orientation and trust propensity in street gangs,” published in 2014 in Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. The primary methodological focus is path analysis, an extension of multiple regression that estimates the magnitude and significance of hypothesized causal connections between variables. In this study, these variables are age, rank, and time spent in a gang, which, in turn, predict levels of social dominance orientation (a preference for inequality among social groups) and trust propensity (a dispositional willingness to rely on others) among street gang members. Social dominance orientation and trust propensity are employed as proxy measures of “defiant individualism,” Martin Sánchez-Jankowski’s trait theory of gang membership. This case study explains why and how. It explores ...

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