School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Mark A Lamport

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration; Education, General


administrator, educator, gangs, Indicators, Risk Factors, Youth Gangs


The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative research study was to examine secondary educator and administrator perceptions of their abilities to recognize indicators and risk factors of gang participation in a northeast Georgia school district. The study employed an interpretive phenomenological approach to obtain an understanding of educator and administrator perceptions. The study sample utilized 28 participants consisting of 14 administrators, seven veteran educators, and seven nonveteran educators. Major themes included a lack of gang awareness training as components of teacher preparatory programs, a lack of staff development exercises pertaining to youth gang indicators and risk factors, and the development of indicator awareness through various experiences. Other major themes included the development of youth gang risk factor awareness through personal and professional experiences, the significance of peer groups and youth gang formation, and the presence of gang graffiti within the given school district. Recommendations for future research included replications of this study, the expansion of this study, and the exploration of gang tendencies in relation to cultural, socioeconomic, and academic discrepancies. Recommendations for leadership included the collection of gang data, school-based assessments of indicators and risk factors, and measures designed to develop and enhance relationships among schools, communities, and local agencies.