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Happiness Is Antidote To Teen Crime And Drug Use

Teen and pre-teen crime rates are up everywhere: image via slumsalongthemohawk.blogspot.comTeen and pre-teen crime rates are up everywhere: image via slumsalongthemohawk.blogspot.com The psychology of happiness is a fairly new but growing field and certainly the consequences of happiness are something rarely measured by sociologists.  But a University of California, Davis, study reported August 22 at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, found that kids in grades seven through nine committed fewer crimes, including drug-related crimes, if they were 'happy.'

The data used for the Davis study came from the largest, most comprehensive study ever conducted of 7th through 9th grade adolescents; the 1995 and 1996 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health had 15,000 participants.  This abstraction of the data  focused on emotion, depression, and juvenile crime.

The researchers, Bill McCarthy, a UC Davis sociology professor, and Teresa Casey, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, correlated the teens' self-reported data on crimes committed with separate self-assessments of emotional well-being. 

Twenty-nine percent of the youths reported having been involved in at least one crime, while 18 percent of them reported using at least one illegal drug.  Involvement with crime and drugs was observed to be less frequent among those who reported a high sense of well-being. Those who reported being down or depressed more often than happy, were more likely to report having committed a crime or used drugs.  Intensity of the emotions also had an effect on the likelihood of committing or not committing a crime.

Data was also studied from one year to the next, and it was observed that the adolescents whose emotional well-being dropped from happy to depressed during the course of the year, had significantly higher crime tendencies.

 “We hypothesize that the benefits of happiness — from strong bonds with others, a positive self-image and the development of socially valued cognitive and behavioral skills — reinforce a decision-making approach that is informed by positive emotions,” McCarthy and Casey explained.


source:  UCDavis via Medical News Today For further information on the psychology of happiness, click here.

 

 

Comments
Sep 1, 2011
by Anonymous

the pernicious side of positive psych

engaging in the methods of "positive psychology" is tantamount to playing a trick on your own mind - it's the very definition of placebo effect

previously those in our society who are exploited and downtrodden would turn to the lord to see them through it. as religion increasingly falls by the wayside things like positive psych take up the slack - all that injustice and abuse handed out by your fellow man, don't sweat it just look on the Positive side of things. this is the manner in which positive psych furthers the ends of the elites, while they are taking everything you've got they are also telling you there's no real problem here, it's all in your head