The Good Lives Model: new directions for preventative practice with children?

Lucy Wainwright, Claire Nee

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The study of young offenders has tended to focus on adolescents, despite knowledge that those who are engaging in criminality during childhood are more likely to experience long-lasting, life-impairing consequences. This qualitative study investigated how child offenders experience the process of desisting from crime. It was hoped that this would provide further insight for those involved with prevention programmes for young offenders. Seven young people aged between 10 and 18, engaging with the Preventing Youth Offending Project (PYOP) in the UK were interviewed, and the data collected was subject to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four themes emerged from the narratives, all converging on a changed self-identity for those successfully desisting. PYOP aims to enhance the lives of young people, and this approach appears to encourage this identity transformation through the provision of purposeful activity, supported education and mentoring. The increasing popularity of strengths-based enhancement approaches to rehabilitation, such as the Good Lives Model (GLM), is discussed in relation to its potential role in the prevention of criminality in young people. It is proposed that the GLM principles could provide essential foundations for early intervention approaches as well as rehabilitative measures for established offenders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-182
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Childhood
  • Juvenile offenders
  • Good Lives Model
  • Protective Factors
  • Programme Development


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