The Relationship of Spirituality and Mental Health to Recidivism

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Chris Stewart
Lisa Rapp
Lori Drum


adolescent spirituality, mental health, boot camp, juvenile justice


This study examined the relationship of adolescent spirituality and mental health to recidivism in a sample of incarcerated adolescent males. Mental health has been strongly linked to adolescent problematic behavior, including delinquency and subsequent recidivism.  Adolescent spirituality however, has not been explored to the same degree as mental health. There is little understanding for example, as to whether spirituality may act as a protective factor in regard to adolescent recidivism; particularly in the presence of other important factors. Both multidimensional measures and a longitudinal design were employed to explore spirituality and mental health during participation in, and after discharge from, a boot camp. Results support the likely importance of adolescent spirituality as a protective factor in regard to recidivism.

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