Social Climate Tech News

Sun 24 2024

Playground Bullies and their Unexpected Financial Success in Adulthood

by bernt & torsten

Children showing signs of aggressive behaviour at school, such as bullying or frequent temper outbursts, may paradoxically be more likely to achieve higher earnings and job satisfaction in middle age. This surprising finding is the result of a long term study, spanning five decades, led by researchers at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex.

The study analysed data from approximately 7,000 individuals born in 1970. The researchers assessed reports from the participants' primary school teachers, who catalogued the children's social and emotional skills at the age of 10, and compared this to the participants' lives at age 46.

Contrary to popular beliefs that aggressive children would have less successful futures, the study identified a strong correlation between aggressive behaviour in school and higher earnings later in life.

The research team hypothesised that the competitive atmosphere in classrooms might lead children to use aggression as a strategy to succeed. If so, these children could carry these same competitive tactics into the workplace, potentially assisting them in securing higher paying jobs.

These findings give weight to the argument that policymakers should consider socio-emotional skills as important as academic aptitude. This could involve implementing school policies that not only discipline aggressive behaviour, but form avenues for children to channel this trait positively. Supporting children struggling with attention span, peer friendships, and emotional issues can also help prevent a lifetime of potential negative impact on their earning potential.

The study's findings align with previous research endorsing the benefits of childhood resilience and overcoming adversity, characteristics often linked to leadership success. However, researchers caution that aggression ought not to be promoted as a strategy for success, suggesting instead the importance of encouraging assertiveness rather than hostility.