Behavior in High School Predicts Income and Occupation Later On

Behavior in High School Predicts Income and Occupation Later On

Being a responsible student, maintaining an interest in studying and having good reading and writing skills doesn’t only benefit adolescents while they’re in school.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by the American American Psychological Association has shown that these characteristics can have far reaching ramifications down the road.

It’s not a real surprise. Researchers say, however, they were intrigued at how reliably specific behaviors in students were able to predict their career success in life.

Researchers analyzed data collected by the American Institutes for Research from 346,660 U.S. high school students in 1960. They also looked at follow-up data from 81,912 of those students 11 years later and 1,952 of them 50 years later.

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It was found that, even when considering students’ IQ, personality traits, cognitive abilities, parental socioeconomic status and demographic factors, students who showed an active interest in school, as well as in reading and writing fared better than those who didn’t.

“Student characteristics and behaviors were rewarded in high school and led to higher educational attainment, which in turn was related to greater occupational prestige and income later in life,” said lead author Marion Spengler, PhD, of the University of Tübingen.

“Educational researchers, political scientists and economists are increasingly interested in the traits and skills that parents, teachers and schools should foster in children to enhance chances of success later in life,” she added. “Our research found that specific behaviors in high school have long-lasting effects for one’s later life.”

That’s not to say that an interest in reading and writing is the only predictors of success. The world needs all good minds. But getting the kids hooked on books early on could be a good thing.

Photo credits: panitanphoto/

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