Even though rates have declined in recent years, violence is a serious problem in many American cities. This paper reviews recent perspectives on violence among young, urban African American males. Special attention is afforded the "father absent" hypothesis, the effect of poverty, the character of neighborhoods, the roots of self-efficacy, and peer influence, particularly the influence of street codes. The latter are argued both to regulate some situational behavior and to promote the use of violence in disputes over social status, drugs, and money. The authors discuss implications for policy and community development.

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