A new longitudinal study examined boys from low-income backgrounds to determine which behaviours in kindergarten are associated with earnings in adulthood. The study concluded that inattention was associated with lower earnings and prosocial behaviour with higher earnings.
The study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, revealed that inattention - characterized as poor concentration, distractibility, having one's head in the clouds, and lacking persistence - was associated with lower earnings when the students were 35 to 36 years old. In addition, prosocial behaviour was associated with higher earnings; examples of prosocial behaviour included trying to stop quarrels, inviting bystanders to join in a game, and trying to help someone who has been hurt.Identifying early childhood behavioural problems associated with economic success or failure is essential for developing targeted interventions that enhance economic prosperity through improved educational attainment and social integration. Both findings took into account children's IQ (assessed at age 13) and their families' adversity (parents' educational level and occupational status).