In 1999 there were 2.5 million arrests on persons under the age of 18. Twenty-seven percent of the arrests involved females, and 32% were youths under 15. Although arrests for violent and property crimes dropped 23% and 24% respectively from 1995 to 1999, the numbers are still staggering (OJJDP). Prevention has been a primary goal of law enforcement agencies and those in related fields who look to divert youths from antisocial behavior at an early age. Wide-ranging strategies involving health, family, employment, education and recreation can play an important role in preventing juvenile delinquency, but recreation is most interesting of all (Munson).
Landers and Landers did a study of 521 students from a northeastern high school to see the effects of extracurricular activities. The students were grouped in one of the following categories: athlete, service-leadership, both or neither. After an extent of time names were taken to the town courthouse to determine the number of misdemeanors and felonies of each group. They found that the students in the neither category were more likely to participate in delinquent behavior than those in athletics, service-leadership, or both. There was nothing in the study that could support that athletics offered greater socialization opportunities than other types of extracurricular activities (Munson).
According to Seigel and Senna the involvement in conventional activities will keep juveniles busy and therefore they are less likely to be involved in delinquent behavior. For example,... [continues]
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