How Teens’ Outlook on Life Impacts Crime


Teens who don't believe they have a long life ahead of them offend at higher rates and commit more serious crimes than those who believe they'll live a long time, according to a new University of Texas at Dallas study.

Researchers asked teenage offenders their thoughts on when they would die. Their answers ranged from late teens to more than 100 years old, according to the study, and perceptions about how long they would live impacted their interpretation of the consequences of offending.

In follow-up interviews, conducted seven years later, those who said they would live longer were less likely to have committed serious offenses, according to the study, which was published in the journal Justice Quarterly.

The perception of longevity “distinguishes between distinct trajectories of offending, and such perceptions also influence both perceived risks and perceived rewards as well as one's impulse control,” researchers wrote.

Read the full study is available for purchase HERE.

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