Parents may now wish for their kid to be un-cool in middle school. A new study from the University of Virginia and published in the journal Child Development found that kids that were considered to be “cool” in middle school were more likely to be worse off later in life.
According to the study, which surveyed 184 seventh- and eighth-graders and then followed up with them 10 years later, the kids who were involved in minor delinquent behaviors or precocious romance and obsessed with physical appearance and social status were much worse off in adulthood than their less “cool” friends.
Houston Family Therapist Julie Nise told KTRH many of the “cool kids” do not fully develop the maturity and self confidence they need as an adult in order to properly handle grown up problems. Nise went on to say:“Your basic family values are going to show you and demonstrate over the long haul what’s cool and what you should shoot for, not what your fellow sixth grader thinks.”
The study also showed the average “cool” teen, by age 22, had a 45% greater rate of problems due to substance use and a 22% greater rate of criminal behavior compared with the average teen in the study.