Your Success In Life Depends On How Social You Were In This Grade

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kindergarten kids

What were you like as a Kindergartner? Did you play a lot with other children, or mostly keep to yourself?

If you look back at yourself then and at yourself now, how much of a difference can you see? I was one of those kids who never colored within the lines and I'd like to say that reflects on me today, whatever that means.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that your social skills during this time might actually indicate future success.

They studied 700 participants during a 20-year period, mostly students from a lower socio-economic background.

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Poverty, stress, race, neighborhood crime, and kindergarten reading and aggression levels were all taken into account.

In Kindergarten, teachers rated the student's social competence on a 5-point scale in 8 categories, such as "shares with others" and "is helpful to others."

Every one point doubled a student's chances of graduating, and was 46 percent more likely to get a full-time job by age 25, the research concluded. Every one-point decrease, meanwhile, increased a student's risk of getting arrested by 67 percent, and the chance of being wait-listed for public housing by 82 percent.

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Years later, as young adults, their occupational and social success was evaluated in 5 categories, such as education, occupational status, and criminal record.

Researchers found that students who were more social in kindergarten were more likely to be well-employed, graduate college, and be less likely to have been arrested.

However, research associate Damon Jones says, in a press release, that the research itself doesn't prove that higher social competence leads to better outcomes later on.

"But when combined with other research, it is clear that helping children develop these skills increases their chances of success in school, work, and life," says Jones, who's a research associate at the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center.

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Jones says that this study is a way to measure social competency at an early age; social and emotional skills can still be changed and improved, so don't lose hope! If you were a weirdo back then, there's always time to improve.

"Evidence from numerous intervention studies indicate that social and emotional learning skills can be improved throughout childhood and adolescence,” said Jones.

Are you remembering what you were like as a kindergartner? Did this study accurately predict your current academic and occupational success? Are you now going to look up your former kindergarten classmates and see how successful they are?

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Caithlin Pena is an editor and former contributor for YourTango. Her work has been featured on Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Psych Central, and BRIDES.