Developmental Trajectories of Individuals’ Code of the Street Beliefs through Emerging Adulthood

Richard K. Moule, Callie H. Burt, Eric A. Stewart, Ronald L. Simons

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Scopus citations


    Objectives: This study seeks to contribute to research on the patterning and stability of code of the street beliefs. We describe trajectories of street code beliefs from late childhood to emerging adulthood and investigate social factors that influence membership in and distinguish between trajectories. Methods: Using six waves of panel data from the Family and Community Health Study, group-based trajectory models were estimated to describe developmental patterns of street code beliefs from age 10 to 26. Correlates of street code beliefs, including racial discrimination, parenting practices, and neighborhood crime, were used to predict trajectory membership. Results: Analyses identified five distinct trajectories of street code beliefs. Four trajectories were largely stable across the study period; however, one group, comprised of 12 percent of the sample, dramatically declined in beliefs. Being male and experiencing racial discrimination significantly distinguish between all of the trajectories. Parental monitoring and perceptions of neighborhood crime differentiate between the declining trajectory and the stable trajectories. Conclusions: Findings provide insights into the developmental patterns and correlates, of street code beliefs. Results suggest beliefs are malleable but remain largely stable and underscore the need for more nuanced, longitudinal approaches to the code of the street.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)342-372
    Number of pages31
    JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - May 21 2015


    • code of the street
    • group-based trajectory modeling
    • human development
    • life-course criminology
    • racial discrimination

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology


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