Happiness Tends to Deter Crime
24 Aug 2011 | PsychCentral
A new study reports that a happy teen is less likely to be
involved in criminal activities or use drugs.
UC Davis researchers Bill McCarthy, Ph.D., and Teresa Casey
report their findings in a paper titled "Get Happy! Positive
Emotion, Depression and Juvenile Crime."
"Our results suggest that the emphasis placed on happiness and
well-being by positive psychologists and others is warranted,"
McCarthy said. "In addition to their other benefits, programs and
policies that increase childhood and adolescent happiness may have
a notable effect on deterring nonviolent crime and drug use."
The researchers evaluated results from a 1995-1996 federally
funded study of Adolescent Health - the largest, most comprehensive
survey of adolescents ever undertaken.
Investigators compared self-assessments of emotional well-being
to criminal activity or reports of drug use. They discovered about
29 percent of the youth surveyed reported having committed at least
one criminal offense, and 18 percent said that they had used at
least one illegal drug.
The review is important because research on the value or
consequences of happiness, in relation to juvenile crime, has not
been studied. Currently, experts believe adolescents' decisions
about crime emerge from attitudes and emotions.
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Look for what's good, Local community, Politics of Happiness