Proposal Goals and Objectives: The primary goal of this study is to examine the race-violence relationship. This relationship will be studied by combining neighborhood structural characteristics, a measure of racial discrimination, and cultural street code beliefs in a multilevel framework for African American adolescents, drawing upon Anderson's thesis (1999).that the 'code of the street,' which supports the use of violence, is a cultural adaptation to negative neighborhood structural conditions, as well as racial discrimination. This study has three objectives. First, I am interested in determining the dimensions of neighborhood structural characteristics that influence individual-level street code beliefs and violence. Second, I am interested in whether experiencing racial discrimination influences street code beliefs and violence. Third, I want to know whether street code beliefs are an adaptation to negative structural characteristics and racial discrimination that in turn lead to violence.
Design and Methodology: This study will use two waves of data from the Family and Community Health Study which consists of roughly 720 African American adolescents from 259 neighborhoods. Respondents' self-reports' on violent offending, street code beliefs, and racial discrimination will be combined with neighborhood structural characteristics measured at the block group level, and analyzed using Hierarchical Linear Modeling techniques, while controlling for covariates.