A new study from the University of Texas at Dallas finds that teens who believe they will die young are more likely to commit crimes -- and more serious ones at that.
The study asked more than 1,300 serious juvenile offenders in Arizona and Pennsylvania one question: How long do you think you'll live? Their answers ranged from 16 to 200 years old. Researchers then checked in periodically with them over a period of seven years and asked about subsequent criminal activity.
The youths who went on to offend most were the ones with a short-term mentality. Notably, there was also a group of offenders -- those who could think long-term -- who successfully reformed.
"What that tells us is you can't just say all of these serious offenders are all bad and they're all going to be bad forever," said UTD criminologist Alex Piquero, who led the study.
Piquero said letting kids know "that your life now is not destiny" can make a difference.
"That's the take-home policy message from this: It's not a bleak thing," he said. "We can turn some of these kids around if we give them these opportunities and we give them these consistent messages."
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Recently by Jim Liebelt
- What's Hot? 07/25/14Friday, July 25, 2014
- Teen Drinking Linked to Tougher Transition to AdulthoodThursday, July 24, 2014
- Guidelines for Buying a Used Car for a Teen DriverWednesday, July 23, 2014
- Add Caffeine Powder to List of Teen RisksTuesday, July 22, 2014
- More Millennials Living With Family Than SeniorsMonday, July 21, 2014
Recently on Crosswalk Blogs
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content