Equity & Diversity Report Roundup

Kindergartners’ Social Skills Found to Predict Adult Success

By Christina A. Samuels — August 04, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Young children who share easily, resolve problems on their own, and cooperate with their peers are less likely to drop out of school, commit crimes, or need government assistance, says a new report previewed online in the American Journal of Public Health.

In some cases, researchers from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and Duke University in Durham, N.C., found that these “social competence” measures were more meaningful than other evaluations that—on the surface—would seem to have a more obvious connection to life outcomes. For example, measures of childhood aggression did not significantly predict later criminal activity.

For every 1-point increase on a 5-point scale, children were twice as likely to earn a college degree; 54 percent more likely to earn a high school diploma, and 46 percent more likely to have a full-time job.

On the downside, for every 1-point decrease on the same 5-point scale, a child was 67 percent more likely to have been arrested by adulthood, and 82 percent more likely to be in or on a waiting list for public housing.

The study, which was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, tracked 750 youngsters from 1991, when they were in kindergarten, until they turned 25.

The children were from four communities—Durham, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; rural Pennsylvania; and Seattle.

Fifty-eight percent were boys, half were white, 46 percent were black, and 4 percent were from other ethnic backgrounds.

A version of this article appeared in the August 05, 2015 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Should Schools Tell Parents When Students Change Pronouns? California Says No
The law bans schools from passing policies that require notifying parents if their child asks to change their gender identification.
5 min read
Parents, students, and staff of Chino Valley Unified School District hold up signs in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ policies at Don Antonio Lugo High School, in Chino, Calif., June 15, 2023. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Monday, July 15, 2024, barring school districts from passing policies that require schools to notify parents if their child asks to change their gender identification.
Parents, students, and staff of Chino Valley Unified School District hold up signs in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ policies at Don Antonio Lugo High School, in Chino, Calif., June 15, 2023. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Monday, July 15, 2024, barring school districts from passing policies that require schools to notify parents if their child asks to change their gender identification.
Anjali Sharif-Paul/The Orange County Register via AP
Equity & Diversity Which Students Are Most Likely to Be Arrested in School?
A student’s race, gender, and disability status all heavily factor into which students are arrested.
3 min read
A sign outside the United States Government Accountability Office in central
iStock/Getty Images
Equity & Diversity Opinion Are Your Students the Protagonists of Their Own Educations?
A veteran educator spells out three ways student agency can deepen learning and increase equity.
Jennifer D. Klein
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of opening the magic book on dark background.
GrandFailure/iStock/Getty
Equity & Diversity Opinion Enrollment Down. Achievement Lackluster. Should This School Close?
An equity researcher describes how coming district-reorganization decisions can help preserve Black communities in central cities.
Francis A. Pearman
5 min read
Illustration: Sorry we are closed sign hanging outside a glass door.
iStock/Getty