Helping Teens Think About Crime


There were 44 percent fewer arrests among teens who took a 30-week training course in Chicago called Becoming a Man, based on cognitive behavior therapy, than among those who didn’t take it, according to a recent University of Chicago Crime Lab study highlighted by NPR.

The training aims to get people to think about the way they think, and to recognize unconscious patterns of thought that produce unhappy life outcomes.

Interventions included “regular interactions with a pro-social adult, after-school programming, and – perhaps the most novel ingredient – in-school programming designed to reduce common judgment and decision-making problems,” according to the study, which monitored about 1,400 youths.

Based on average increases in school grades among participants, researchers also estimate that graduation rates among the group will increase between 7 and 22 percent.

The research is described in a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. It was prompted by a 2007 incident in which a University of Chicago graduate student was fatally shot in a robbery.

Read the study HERE.

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