Cool Kids Lose, Though It May Take A Few Years

Posted on June 19, 2014

Photo: flickr

Parents, teachers and cheesy after-school specials have long tried to convince kids that being cool and popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Now scientists are chiming in as well.

Dating, flouting authority and surrounding yourself with good-looking friends may make you popular when you're 13, according to a online Wednesday. But don't believe the media hype, psychologists say. Kids who try to act cool in early adolescence are more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol, and have trouble managing friendships as they grow older. And their popularity tends to fade by the time they're 22.

The researchers followed over 180 13-year-olds for a decade, interviewing the teens themselves, as well as their parents and friends. By age 22, the cool group had a 45 percent higher rate of problems related to alcohol and substance use (such as missing work and driving drunk) than their less-cool peers, according to the study, which appears in the journal Child Development. The popular crowd was also more likely to have engaged in criminal activity.

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Category(s):Teenage Issues

Source material from NPR