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Religion and its effects on crime and delinquency

Calvin O. Butts III, George B. Stefano, Gregory L. Fricchione, Elliott Salamon

Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(8): SR79-82

ID: 13123

Published: 2003-08-27


This review is an attempt to explore the relationship between two complex areas of behavioral research, namely that of religion and crime and delinquency. We will also examine supporting research from the area of physiological belief and relaxation systems as a means of understanding the posited negative correlation between religiosity and crime. Our central thesis is that ones level of participation in religious activities is negatively correlated to participation in criminal activity. While this central tenant seems straightforward there are a number of methodological issues that need to be addressed. In particular we need to operationally define the terms religiosity and delinquency. By reviewing archival research we hope to help substantiate the negative correlation between religion and crime, as well as explain a possible mechanism for this relationship.

Keywords: Crime, Culture, Humans, Juvenile Delinquency, Religion and Psychology, Social Adjustment



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