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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Criminal Justice Quote: Peer Pressure and the "Bad Influence" Myth

     If parents of criminals were asked what went wrong in their children's lives, many would reply, "My child ran with the wrong crowd." They would maintain that their son was a good boy at heart but that he was corrupted by others. The belief is widespread that youngsters turn to crime, alcohol, and drugs because they succumb to the pressures of their peer group.

     Peer pressure is a force that we all have to contend with from the time we are in nursery school until the time we die. But we choose which peer group or groups to belong to. As is the case with nearly all children, the criminal as a child chooses his friends. No criminal I have evaluated or counseled was forced into crime. He chose to associate with risk-taking youngsters who were doing what was forbidden.

Dr. Stanton E. Samenow, Inside the Mind of the Criminal, 1984

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