Happiness Deters Crime in Teens

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This seems like a bit of a no-brainer, but a new study from UC Davis researchers states that happy teens are less likely to commit crimes. While this isn't the most surprising news in the world, it's evidence that people are recognizing the social impact of happiness, and that's good news!

A Psych Central article shares details of the study, which was completed using information from the most comprehensive survey of adolescents thus far. From researcher Bill McCarthy:

Our results suggest that the emphasis placed on happiness and well-being by positive psychologists and others is warranted...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.

What causes teens to make the decisions that lead to crime or drug use? Experts say that strong emotions, which young people certainly have, affect the direction of their actions.  What do you think? What other factors beside happiness are involved with a well-adjusted youth?


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