Study: Pay Attention and Graduate From College

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–It makes sense that being better able to pay attention and keep working on a problem will help someone graduate college. But a researcher says it starts young.

At Oregon State University, Megan McClelland followed data on 430 people who were preschoolers at the start:

“Children who had high levels of attention and persistence at age 4 had nearly 50 percent greater odds of completing college by the time they were 25.”

McClelland says the benefit held up even after accounting for other factors, such as reading and math scores. She says parents can help children practice stopping and thinking before acting, but shouldn’t make the kids feel like it’s work.

The study in Early Childhood Research Quarterly was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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