What's love got to do with it? Romantic relationships, street youth and crime

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Vena, Candace
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University of Guelph

While the bulk of previous research on the role romantic relationships play on criminal behaviour has focused on mainstream youth in Canada and the United States, little research has focused on romantic relationships within street youth populations. Drawing on social control theories and strain theories commonly applied in the youth crime literature, this study sought to determine the effects, if any, of romantic relationships among street youth in Canada on their criminal activity. While past research has illustrated positive effects between romantic relationships and levels of criminal activity in adolescent youth, this study suggests that these findings do not apply to street youth. A plausible explanation for this finding relates to the physically violent and emotionally turbulent nature of their relationships in addition to the other day-to-day strains and obstacles faced by one of the most marginalized populations in Canada.

love, relationships, romance, youth, homeless, crime, street youth