In community-based forensic psychiatry, subjective well-being (swb) is rarely considered as an explicit treatment target. According to the general strain theory and the good lives model, a negative relationship between swb and re-offending in personality-disordered patients can be hypothesized. In a multi-center, prospective study, the short-term effect of swb on self-reported criminal offending behavior over a three-month period was explored. Swb was also related to official recidivism data over a follow-up period of three years. Overall swb and satisfaction with health and finances predicted recidivism to a moderate degree. Furthermore, creating a meaningful life was negatively related to recidivism. For patients with a high risk level, swb with health buffered self-reported re-offending; this effect was not found in relation to official reconvictions. The protective effect of positive swb in reducing both short-term and long-term criminal behavior in forensic psychiatric outpatients merits further attention in community-based forensic psychiatric treatment.
Bouman, Y. H. A., Schene, A. H., & de Ruiter, C. (2009). Subjective well-being and recidivism in forensic psychiatric outpatients. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 8, 225-234. https://doi.org/10.1080/14999011003635647