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NCJRS Abstract

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  NCJ Number: NCJ 223509     Find in a Library
  Title: Code of the Street and African-American Adolescent Violence
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Eric A. Stewart ; Ronald L. Simons
  Date Published: 02/2009
  Page Count: 26
  Series: NIJ Research in Brief
  Annotation: This report examines the results of research into the validity of the “code of the street” theory developed by a Yale professor explaining high rates of violence among African-American adolescents.
  Abstract: The results were generally consistent with Elijah Anderson’s “code of the street” thesis. They suggest that family characteristics, racial discrimination, neighborhood context, and street code values are significant predictors of violence. Findings include: (1) being raised in a “decent” family appears to lower the risk of being involved in violence; (2) the “street” family variable was not related to self-reported violent behavior 2 years later; and (3) reported experience with racial discrimination significantly predicted self-reported violent behavior. The results suggest that neighborhood structural conditions may influence violent behavior. Lastly, the study shows that an individual adolescent’s adoption of the street code is a powerful precursor of violence. Anderson’s thesis bridges the environmental-cultural divide inherent in many urban violence studies. The “code of the street” theory, developed by Anderson presents an explanation for high rates of violence among African-American adolescents. Anderson saw that economic disadvantage, separation from mainstream society, and racial discrimination encountered by some African-American adolescents might lead to antisocial attitudes and to violent behavior. This report presents research exploring Anderson’s thesis. Repeated interviews were conducted with more than 800 African-American adolescents and their primary caregivers in Georgia and Iowa over a 2-year period. Exhibits, notes, and list of additional readings
  Main Term(s): Violence prediction
  Index Term(s): Violence ; Black/African Americans ; Black juvenile delinquents ; Violence causes ; Adolescent females ; Adolescent males ; Adolescents at risk ; NIJ grant-related documents
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

US Dept of Health and Human Services
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
United States of America

National Institute on Drug Abuse
United States of America

National Institute of Mental Health
United States of America

Ctr's for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
United States of America

Iowa Agriculture & Home Economics Experiment Station
United States of America
  Grant Number: 2005-IJ-CX-0035;MH48165;MH62669
  Type: Research (Theoretical)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

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