Decades After a Good-Behavior Program in Grade School, Adults Report Healthier, More Successful Lives

Posted on July 26, 2019

Having a successful life can mean different things for different people, but having good relationships, a stable job and being healthy are likely to be ideal for most people. In a longitudinal study called the Seattle Social Development Project, it is found that a ‘good life’ in adulthood has its foundations in grade school with the careful guidance of teachers and parents.

The project involved more than 800 individuals, starting from when they were in fifth grade and followed them to their 30s. A study program was developed for parents and teachers to forge stronger relationships with children, and the children or students of these adults grew up to have better health and socioeconomic status.

The sustained effects of intervening at an early age has been proven to be true in the social study. The program implemented was known as the prevention curriculum and involves lessons for parents and teachers. These lessons teach them to nurture good social skills to help the children develop healthy relationships, as well as how they can support them better. This could be done by changing seating arrangements in class, giving children more responsibilities and setting expectations for them to fulfill them.

More recently, the participants, now grown up, were assessed for various aspects of their lives. This would enable researchers to determine how successful or healthy they are as adults. Areas such as physical and mental health, sex-risk behaviors, substance abuse, relationships of the participants were measured using surveys and physical tests.

The data collected showed that participants who underwent the program had lesser mental health issues, engaged in healthy behaviors and were of a higher socioeconomic status. While all these might not be solely credited to the study program, it is likely that the program allowed parents and teachers to provide a more conducive environment for growth and maturation of the young children. As such, these individuals were able to make responsible decisions and build satisfactory relationships as they get older.

It is crucial to enhance a child’s opportunities to socialize positively by interacting with them as a parent or a teacher. When strong bonds are formed, children are more likely to meet expectations and perform better.


Source material from Science Daily

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