The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Sunday, August 2, 2015

'Cool' teenagers at higher risk of becoming losers or criminals

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Wiki

This is what the recent study has found:

"Whatever Happened to the Cool Kids?", published in the journal Child Development by researchers at the University of Virginia

Quote:

Pseudomature behavior—ranging from minor delinquency to precocious romantic involvement—is widely viewed as a nearly normative feature of adolescence. When such behavior occurs early in adolescence, however, it was hypothesized to reflect a misguided overemphasis upon impressing peers and was considered likely to predict long-term adjustment problems. In a multimethod, multireporter study following a community sample of 184 adolescents from ages 13 to 23, early adolescent pseudomature behavior was linked cross-sectionally to a heightened desire for peer popularity and to short-term success with peers. Longitudinal results, however, supported the study's central hypothesis: Early adolescent pseudomature behavior predicted long-term difficulties in close relationships, as well as significant problems with alcohol and substance use, and elevated levels of criminal behavior.

The abstract seems to be slightly toned down, while the actual correlation figures (see Table 1) are quite high and significant! For example, some correlation factors (age range in brackets):

"1.Pseudomature behavior (13-15)" versus "12.Problems related to substance use (21–23)", Correlation=50%.

"4.Precocious romantic behavior (13–15)" versus "12.Problems related to substance use (21–23)", Correlation=33%.

"1.Pseudomature behavior (13-15)" versus "14.Criminal behavior (21–23)", Correlation=27%.

"4.Precocious romantic behavior (13–15)" versus "14.Criminal behavior (21–23)", Correlation=31%.

Interestingly, both substance abuse and criminality appear to be also correlated with early puberty!

More reading:

The Independent article: 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds

My essays on social regression and anthropology.