Researchers have discovered that when “soft” skills such as self control and getting along with others are taught early, soft skills prevent hard time in criminal settings later.

Soft Skills Prevent Hard TimeRecently Duke University professors examined a program called Fast Track.  The program started in the early 1990s for children who were at high risk for having problems with aggressive behavior.

For the study, the students were randomly separated into two groups.  Half of the students took part in the Fast Track intervention.  This included curriculum led by teachers, parent training, tutoring in academics, and lessons in social skills and self control.  The program lasted from first through tenth grade. It was shown to reduce delinquency as well as use of mental health services and arrests.

Researchers then examined the reason behind those findings. They discovered that a third of the impact on future crime was due to the “soft” skills the students learned in elementary school:  social skills and self regulation.

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