Date of Award

10-22-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Criminology

First Advisor

Randy L. Martin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dennis M. Giever, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jennifer J. Roberts, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Daniel R. Lee, Ph.D.

Abstract

Intervention programs for juvenile offenders must be built on sound theoretical knowledge and designed for one of a number of specific reasons. Among these reasons are those programs developed with the goal of deterring offending through the development of competencies or other life knowledge, which, once gained, will assist offenders in becoming productive members of society. One such program is the Facts of Life, created by Ramm (2003) and based on a theory developed by Ramm and Czetli (2004), known as the Formula for Happiness. Although the Facts of Life program is enjoying increased implementation within the discipline of juvenile justice, the theory this intervention is built upon has not yet been subjected to appropriate empirical testing. The present project utilizes a sample of college students enrolled in two universities to assess the assertions posited by Ramm. Using ordinary least squares regression techniques, two hypotheses are to be tested. H1 is that life satisfaction/happiness is influenced by achievement in specific life domains; and, H2 is that increased life satisfaction reduces engagement in criminal activity. Results revealed mixed support for the hypotheses. Hypothesis 1 was supported and the predictor variables accounted for a large portion of happiness variance; however, only three of the core values conceptualized by Ramm emerged as significant. Further testing revealed that seven life domains more aligned with the wider positive psychology literature emerged as significant predictors of happiness. Hypothesis 2 was weakly supported. Discussion of the results, ideas for secondary tests of Hypothesis 2, and directions for future research were then offered.

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