"Cool" kids in middle school struggle in their 20s, study finds

Friday, June 13, 2014

The meek kids from middle school shall inherit the earth. Or at least they'll live healthier and more productive lives than their “cooler” peers once they enter adulthood.

Researchers studying 13-year-olds found that those who engaged in “pseudomature” behavior -- such as minor shoplifting and precocious romantic relationships -- and were seen as the "cool kids" tended to develop problems with drugs and relationships by their early 20s.

In the study, published Thursday in the journal Child Development, scientists tracked nearly 200 13-years-olds in the Southeastern United States for 10 years, gauging how much they valued their popularity, how important appearance was in seeking out friends and if they used drugs or had romantic relationships.

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