The legacy of gang membership on family members

Jorge Partida, PsyD Psychologist, shares how one's membership in a gang can have a great impact on their family members, primarily their sons and brothers
How The Legacy Of Gang Membership Effects Family Members
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The legacy of gang membership on family members

Sons and brothers of gang members can carve a different path for themselves by examining the impact that it has had in their own family. It is important to realize the connection between fathers and sons and brothers that have been involved in gangs is very different and produces a very different impact. For sons that have fathers that have been involved in gangs, often there is a great deal of resentment that gets built up. Young men with fathers or young women with mothers who have been involved in gangs, often to look up to the parent that has been missing. They resent the loss of affection. They resent the time that this person did not spend because this person was involved in gangs. Often times, what sons of gang members do, is try to outdo their fathers. We situations where sons become more seriously involved in crime than their father did. We often see great violence and murders. Young men who had their fathers involved in gangs, end up in state prisons. They often become leaders in the gangs. It's a little bit of a different dynamic when you talk about brothers that become involved in gangs because there is typically less of an age difference than a father would be to a son. Because there is less of an age difference, younger brothers tend to look up to their older brothers. They see them as a role model. They want to be like the cool, big brother. During the time the cool, big brother is in gangs, usually, they have not gotten involved seriously enough in the gang to recognize the impact on their little brother. It is only much later. Typically, the life of the gang member catches up to them when they are in their 30's and 40's, when they have a long history of incarceration. By then, the little brother has been involved for years. It is important for you to analyze your life. I have talked to and interviewed thousands of gang members, and I have never found one gang member, from the highest in the administration to the lowest soldier in the gang; never met one person in a gang who says that it was the best thing that ever happened to them. Learn from your history. Talk to people that have been involved in gangs. Ask them about their experience. Know that it is never too late. Your history, does not have to be your future. You can change your life today.

Jorge Partida, PsyD Psychologist, shares how one's membership in a gang can have a great impact on their family members, primarily their sons and brothers


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Jorge Partida, PsyD


Dr. Jorge Partida is a Psychologist, Green Advocate and Indigenous Healer. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and immigrated to Chicago at nine years of age. Dr. Jorge has been a consultant on many national and international projects in the areas of education, health, diversity and spirituality.  Dr. Jorge has worked with local and national governments to coordinate services for those most impacted by poverty, war and displacement.  He has worked in Liberia Africa in the repatriation of boy soldiers and has worked to form “intentional communities” in poverty impacted countries of Latin-America.

Dr. Jorge is the author of The Promise of The Fifth Sun and A Week of Awakening.  His writing integrates psychology with native healing traditions to form an easy to use self-help approach.  Dr. Jorge has designed and facilitated healing workshops that incorporate ritual and practice. 

Dr. Jorge has served as Director of the PsyD program at John F. Kennedy University and as Deputy Director of Behavioral Health with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  Today, Dr. Jorge is the Executive Director of the United States Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA).  He believes that the discussion of sustainability provides a platform to address today’s most complex issues. 

For more than twenty years, Dr. Jorge has presented mental health segments on television and radio. He has worked with many networks, including Univision, Telemundo, HITN-TV in Spanish and CBS, UPN, NBC and PBS in English. 

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