Dad dot info form. Ask questions, get answers | Opinion | Latest News | Study finds success starts at nursery school

Study finds success starts at nursery school

Youngsters with better social and emotional skills are more likely to do well in life, a study has revealed.

Success starts early, the study suggests | Image: Pixabay

Researchers found that children deemed to demonstrate good social skills at nursery-school age are more likely to go on to study at university or have a successful job.

Around 1,000 nursery school-aged pupils were assessed by teachers on eight criteria, using a five-point scale, looking at how each interacted socially with others.

Author Professor Damon Jones of Penn State University said: “This research by itself doesn’t prove that higher social competence can lead 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.”

Children were given a ranking for statements including “is helpful to others”, “shares materials” and “resolves peer problems on own”.

The progress of the youngsters was tracked into their mid-20s, when researchers assessed how they were performing in five areas: education and employment, public assistance, criminal activity, substance abuse and mental health.

They found that children who were helpful and shared in nursery were more likely to have graduated college and have a full-time job at age 25.

Those who had problems resolving conflicts, sharing, cooperating and listening were less likely to have finished school and university.

It also found they were more likely to have substance abuse problems and run-ins with the law.

The results showed that for every one-point decrease in the child’s score, he or she had a 67 per cent higher chance of having been arrested and an 82 per cent higher chance of being in or on a waiting list for public housing at age 25.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, took into account factors such as poverty, race and having teenage parents.

This comes as a smaller study has looked into the effect of reading stories to children.

Researchers in the US studied the brains of a small group of 3- to 5-year-olds using MRI scanners, whilst they were being read to.

They found that reading aloud to your child from a young age increased brain activity in areas linked to mental imagery and understanding narrative.

Experts claim both are key to the development of language and literacy.

Related entries LIVE: The First Year is Survival

On Thursday 29th October at 12 Noon will be live on Facebook chatting all things TWINS!   CLICK HERE TO JOIN US LIVE AT 12 NOON Leonie and Josh Huie, Mum and Dad to fraternal twin girls (their twin heartbeats) chat with Ian Soars, CEO of

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Parents have been warned that children in the UK are at risk of death or serious injury from the sale of unsafe toys through various online marketplaces. Health and safety experts from CE Safety say parents should ensure they are not buying cheap, unsafe or fake toys...

Rule of Six

New Coronavirus rules mean when seeing friends or family you don’t live with you should meet up in groups of six or less. For now, that means it is illegal for my whole family to meet another family inside or outside. In some ways we are lucky, we are only a family of...

Latest entries



Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a hurt dad that hasn't...

Childcare: what are the options?

Childcare: what are the options?

Modern parenthood is about striking a balance between caring for your children and earning a crust. Many families need childcare options to balance the juggle. If you don't know your nannies from your au pairs, read our guide to childcare to help you decide...

31 percent of parents don’t read to their children

31 percent of parents don’t read to their children

Are you one of the over 60% of parents who doesn't read newspapers or magazines to their kids We all know that reading is essential for our children’s development. Despite this, a third (31 percent) of us parents do not read with our children and 63% never read...

Pin It on Pinterest