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The compass project intervention programme: the application of moral theory in different youth contexts

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-06, 11:21 authored by Neema Trivedi-Bateman, Victoria Gadd

Purpose: The study aims to introduce The Compass Project (TCP), designed to determine whether strengthening morality and practicing emotion management can reduce youth antisocial attitudes and behaviours and increase prosocial attitudes and behaviours.The programme activities are informed by the existing evidence base and incorporate theoretical explanations of the mechanisms that link psychological moral and emotional traits and behaviour. Design/methodology/approach: This paper will offer a description of the programme design and content, TCP 2022 pilot study and crucially, discuss the utility of delivering programmes like TCP in wider settings (schools, youth offending teams and other youth organisations). TCP is currently being delivered in UK schools as a multi-site, longitudinal, RCT design. Findings: Participant feedback from TCP 2022 pilot study is used to illustrate the potential impact of TCP for young people in future. The authors identify five challenges faced by researchers conducting youth intervention studies: access, recruitment, continued attendance, nature of participation (enthusiasm, engagement and task-focus) and full participant completion of data measures. Practical implications: This pioneering study offers a novel methodology to increase law-abiding moral attitudes and behaviours in young people. This paper adopts a forward-thinking and scientific approach to identify practical solutions to key challenges faced when delivering youth interventions and is relevant for youth practitioners and academics worldwide. Social implications: TCP seeks to achieve improved youth attitudinal outcomes (such as law-aligned morality, empathy for others, measured decision-making and consideration of the consequences of action) and improved youth behavioural outcomes (such as improved quality of relationships with others, increased helping and prosocial behaviours, reduced antisocial behaviour and delinquency and reduced contact with criminal justice system-related organisations). Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, an evidence-based morality strengthening and emotion programme of this kind, closely aligned with a moral theory of rule-breaking, has not been developed before.



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Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice





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