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Self-control at a young age brings a better quality of life

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a recently published study, found a link between the degree of self-control during childhood and later success in life.

They studied 1,037 children born between 1972-1973 (in New Zealand) aged 3-11. In this way, they made assessments of children’s self-control by talking to their parents, teachers, and the children themselves.

Each of the children was assessed for traits such as impulsivity, or how easily they were disappointed when engaging in certain projects, and whether they continued such projects despite their frustration. Researchers reviewed children decades later, at age 45. Everyone was interviewed and tested in different ways, to find out how their lives had gone. The researchers found that those children with a high degree of self-control had on average had a better life than those identified as having poor self-control.

Also, the former had fewer signs of brain aging, and generally enjoyed better health. The researchers, meanwhile, found that the highly self-controlled group of people had better financial and social achievements. They also noticed that the level of intelligence and social position during childhood did not make any difference. Children who had problems with self-control had less achievement of standardized life goals than those who had demonstrated self-control as children.

Researchers suggest that improving control skills in children may bring a better quality of life one day when they are adults.

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