Kids with self-control grab better jobs

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London, April 15 (IANS) Training your kids to exercise self-control can help them reap the benefits not only in the short-term but throughout their working life, says a research.

Children with high self-control — who are typically better able to pay attention, persist with difficult tasks, and suppress inappropriate or impulsive behaviour — are likely to spend 40 percent less time unemployed as adults than those who had a lower capacity for self-control as children, the findings showed.

“The study highlights the importance of early life self-control as a powerful predictor of job prospects in adulthood,” said lead researcher Michael Daly from University of Stirling in Scotland.

The researchers used two studies of more than 15,000 British children to examine the link between self-control and adult unemployment. Self-control was measured at ages as young as seven and the analyses adjusted for intelligence, social class and family background and health factors.

The results provided clear evidence linking self-control to unemployment rates across working life. An examination of the 1980s recession also showed that those with low childhood self-control experienced a pronounced spike in joblessness during this difficult economic period.

While this group was among the first to lose jobs during the recession, they also found it more difficult to regain employment.

This could be attributed to a range of factors including a heightened vulnerability to stress due to unemployment, the adverse effect of prolonged career interruptions on skill development and a greater likelihood of falling into habits which hinder their chances of regaining employment, such as poor time management and irregular sleep patterns.

“Less self-controlled children may be particularly vulnerable to unemployment during times of economic downturn in later life,” Daly noted.

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.

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