Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Gang members -- Drug use -- Iowa, Criminal behavior -- Iowa


The main objective of this thesis is to study the link between gangs, drug use, and delinquency. Previous literature suggests that social learning and social control theories commonly provide theoretical contexts for explaining deviant behavior. The present research applies the principles of Sutherland's (1949) theory of differential association and Hirschi' s (1969) theory of social control to the delinquent behavior of gang members and their drug involvement. The present study does not attempt to explain why youths become gang members. Rather, this research uses an integration of social learning and social control theories to explain why gang members become involved with drugs and commit violent and non-violent offenses. The purpose for using an integrative approach is to gain a more comprehensive understanding for why gang members engage in illegal activities.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Michael J Leiber, Chair


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 90 leaves ; 28 cm)



File Format


Included in

Criminology Commons