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Pers Relatsh. 2013 Mar 1;20(1):84-106. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

The Code of the Street and Romantic Relationships: A dyadic analysis.

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Department of Sociology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602,


Since its publication, Elijah Anderson's (1999) code of the street thesis has found support in studies connecting disadvantage to the internalization of street-oriented values and an associated lifestyle of violent/deviant behavior. This primary emphasis on deviance in public arenas has precluded researchers from examining the implications of the code of the street for less public arenas, like intimate relationships. In an effort to understand if and how the endorsement of the street code may infiltrate such relationships, the present study examines the associations between the code of the street and relationship satisfaction and commitment among young adults involved in heterosexual romantic relationships. Using a dyadic approach, we find that street code orientation, in general, negatively predicts satisfaction and commitment, in part due to increased relationship hostility/conflict associated with the internalization of the code. Gender differences in these associations are considered and discussed at length.


commitment; dating; dyadic data analysis; families; gender differences; hostility

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