• Marcelle Wijnberg Stellenbosch University
  • Sulina Green University of Stellenbosch


Drugs play a pivotal role in the functioning of gangs, motivating deviant behaviour and meeting members’ physiological and belonging needs. To understand the process of engaging in and disengaging from a gang, a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods was utilised. The ecological perspective was used to identify various systems that influence the individual, whilst Maslow’s motivational theory was used to explain intrinsic needs that motivate human behaviour. The findings of the study reveal that gang members present with unique physiological and belonging needs, which must be understood by social workers in order to gain optimum results with intervention.

Author Biographies

Marcelle Wijnberg, Stellenbosch University
Ms Marcelle Wijnberg, (Postgraduate student)
Sulina Green, University of Stellenbosch
Department Of social work, University of Stellenbosch


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