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Drugs, Guns, and Disadvantaged Youths: Co-occurring Behavior and the Code of the Street

Published onJul 15, 2020
Drugs, Guns, and Disadvantaged Youths: Co-occurring Behavior and the Code of the Street

Note: A postprint of this paper is unavailable; publisher version available here.

Allen, Andrea, and Celia C. Lo. 2012. Drugs, guns, and disadvantaged youths: Co-occurring behavior and the code of the street. Crime & Delinquency, 58, 932-953.

Abstract: Guided by Anderson’s theory of the code of the street, this study explored social mechanisms linking individual-level disadvantage factors with the adoption of beliefs grounded in the code of the street and with drug trafficking and gun carrying—the co-occurring behavior shaping violence among young men in urban areas. Secondary data were employed from a sample of male inmates and a sample of male high school students. Data analysis indicated that the social disadvantage factor absent father significantly predicted this co-occurring behavior in the inmate sample, whereas the social disadvantage factor history of expulsion did so in the student sample. In both samples, race and adopting beliefs about gun carrying from the code of the street were significant predictors of drug trafficking and gun carrying. The results do not suggest that such code-based beliefs’ impact on drug trafficking and gun carrying differs by race. Implications for social policy are discussed.

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