Gibbs also said the White House will soon be making an announcement concerning the video, which showed teens sharply kicking and hitting the honor student, though he declined to say when.
The press secretary called the video "among the most shocking that you can ever see."
"I think this is something that the administration has been working on," Gibbs said. "This is not just a Chicago-specific problem. Obviously, youth crime and gang violence are something that this administration takes seriously."
There has been speculation that the video could hurt Chicago's chances of landing the 2016 Olympic Games, which the president will push this week in Denmark.
Gibbs was asked at his daily briefing if the incident is related to "the fact that there is lack of fatherhood, broken kind of family structure."
"I don't know the individual circumstances of those accused of taking part in the heinous crime," he replied. "I think in many ways a lot of these crimes are amazingly hard to explain. I can't imagine why anybody would do what you see being done on that video. Obviously, there are certain factors that we know have a tendency to contribute to -- dropping out of school, not being able to find work, all those sorts of things."
"Obviously, parental responsibility is a big part of that," he continued. "Fatherhood is a big part of that. It's not just about being able to father a child. It's about being able to raise a child. And not being -- not being present is certainly -- can tend to be part of that. I don't, again, presume to know the individual circumstances here, so I hate to generalize."
That led a reporter to say, "A lot of this is policy, but a lot of it is heart. How are you going to regulate the heart issue?"
"You can't regulate the heart issue," Gibbs responded. "And this is not a -- this is not a -- a problem that government alone, as the president often says, at any level is going to be able to solve. This is going to take community involvement. It's going to take parental involvement. It's going to take the involvement of -- of everyone to address what is obviously a -- a sad and shocking problem."