Success in High School, Success Later in Life

Success in High School, Success Later in Life

Being a good student in high school seems to translate into a better job and higher pay down the road, a new study suggests.

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"Our research found that specific behaviors in high school have long-lasting effects for one's later life," said study lead author Marion Spengler.

Those behaviors and achievements included being a responsible student, being interested in school and having good reading and writing skills.

The results? Occupational success decades later. Specifically, having a better job both 11 years and 50 years after high school, the study found.

The finding came from an analysis of data on Americans who were high school students in 1960, including follow-ups on nearly 82,000 of them in 1971 and on about 2,000 people again in 2010.

The study found that positive high school factors were associated with higher income 50 years later, regardless of the person's IQ or their parents' income.

The findings were published Feb. 26 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

"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," said Spengler, who's from the University of Tubingen in Germany.

"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," she said in a journal news release.

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"This study highlights the possibility that certain behaviors at crucial periods could have long-term consequences for a person's life," she said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on teens and school.


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