New Study Reveals Behavior in School Can Predict Future Economic Status

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Researchers find link between behavior in high school and economic status in adulthood, according to a new study published on February 23, 2018.

A team of researchers from University of Tübingen found that specific behaviors in high school have long-lasting effects for one’s later life.

Spengler, lead author of the study and coauthors, analyzed data collected by the American Institutes for Research from 346,660 U.S. high school students in 1960, along with follow-up data from 81,912 of those students 11 years later and 1,952 of them 50 years later.

They measured variety of student behaviors and attitudes as well as personality traits, cognitive abilities, parental socioeconomic status, and demographic factors when these people were kids in high school. They then followed up on these individuals to measure their overall educational attainment, income, and occupational prestige.

They found that responsible students, who showed interest in school, and demonstrated fewer problems with reading and writing, later on in life were more likely to attain higher education, find more prestigious jobs, both 11 years and 50 years after high school, than their counterparts.

The findings were not surprising, however, the team confirmed how reliably specific behaviors as seen among kids in school had the potential to predict their success later on in life.

“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.

This study highlights the possibility that certain behaviors at crucial periods could have long-term consequences for a person’s life.” He concluded.


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