Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Happiness Can Help Prevent Teen Crimes

A study by the University of California Davis shows that teenagers who report higher levels of happiness are less likely to be involved in criminal activity. Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are aware that juvenile crimes are often the result of a low sense of emotional well-being.

The study’s findings were presented at the American Sociological Association’s Annual meeting in Las Vegas. According to the researchers, teenagers in grades 7 through 9 have a much lower risk of being involved in criminal activity if they are “happy.”

The researchers focused on the link between juvenile crimes and emotions and depression. The teens self-reported their crimes. The researchers analyzed these crime rates with self-assessments of the teenagers’ sense of emotional well-being.

About 29% of the juveniles had been involved in at least one crime, and 18% had used at least one illegal drug. Researchers found that criminal activity and drug use was less frequent in those juveniles who reported a much higher sense of emotional well-being. Juveniles who reported being frequently down and low were much more likely to report criminal activity as well as drug use.

The researchers monitored these juveniles, and found that when they reported a drop from happiness to depression over a period of one year, the increase in criminal activity was sharp.

Persons accused of juvenile crimes, may be tried in separate courts, under separate criminal laws than those that govern adults. In most juvenile crimes, the focus of the court will be the rehabilitation of the child, and not incarceration. However, minors accused of serious crimes like murder may be charged as adults. Juveniles accused of crimes have the same rights as adults do, including Miranda rights and the right to a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

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