Teaching Empathy in School Could Lead to Lower Crime Rates Among Teens

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on StudyFinds.

Young violent offenders have empathy levels 15 percent lower than less severe offenders and normal kids, a recent study reveals. Researchers suggest that if children were provided courses on cultivating empathy in school, crime rates among youth could decrease.

They point to a German program that worked for 10 weeks aiming to increase empathy and reduce cyberbullying behavior. In a Turkish study, a bullying-focused school training found a reduction in 40 percent among pupils who took part, with the control group showing no change in their behavior.

“Empathy is crucial for supporting law-abiding behaviors and decisions, and traditional sources of empathy development, such as parents and teachers, are vital for the development of lawful behavior in children. Deficient empathy is a risk to all members of the community and occurs when children have inadequate or absent role models. If deficient empathy can be identified and addressed from infancy, we strongly believe that fewer incidents of harm and wrongdoing will occur in society,” says co-author Dr. Trivedi-Bateman, a senior lecturer in criminology at Anglia Ruskin University, in a statement.

“Our study highlights that targeted empathy training programs used in the U.S., Turkey and Germany can be beneficial. We also show that repetition and rehearsal of the empathy strengthening techniques are key to successful and longer-term outcomes, while the use of virtual reality technology, placing participants in ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ scenarios, are beneficial when used in cases of bullying and domestic abuse,” he added.

The research was published in the journal Psychology, Crime and Law.

Source: StudyFinds
https://www.studyfinds.org/teaching-empathy-lower-crime-rates-teens/

Help us reach the next generation of families

Donate
Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA
      92693

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)

Close