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Children Who Can Sit Still Are More Likely To Graduate College

Tue, August 28, 2012 6:16pm EDT by Add first Comment
kids pay attention graduate college study

A new study reports that preschool-aged kids who can sit still and focus have a better chance of graduating college than their more distracted classmates. Read on to find out why.

A new study from Oregon State University has concluded that kids who can sit and focus are more likely to graduate from college than young children who get easily distracted, according to data that was collected during a span of 25 years.

The study followed 430 kids from the time they were preschool age until the reached 21, and parents had to track their kids’ behavior based on certain tasks, including “playing with a single toy for long periods of time,” or “gives up easily” when a task or games got hard, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

“We were interested in identifying early predictors of later success,” Megan McClelland said. Megan is the early childhood research core director at OSU’s Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, and a lead author on the study.

“We know that early academic skills predict later academic stills,” she said. “But the ability to pay attention and focus are foundational skills that help kids persist through difficult tasks when they need to.”

Although Megan insisted that academic skills are still important, and intellectual cabability is still a huge factor, she said there are a lot of smart kids who still have a hard time finishing tasks.

The study also tried to keep certain variables the same, including the child’s cognitive ability and vocabulary, and the parents’ education level.

Megan said that helping children learn the qualities of self-discipline is the most important thing parents and teachers can do to help kids focus and succeed. On suggestion was changing the rules of the game “red light, green light” so that red means go and green means stop.

“Kids ask me all the time, ‘Are you trying to trick me?’ I tell them, ‘No, we want you stop and think about what you’re doing first,'” she said.

What do YOU think of the study HollyMoms?

— Christina Stiehl

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