Self-Control Key To Healthy Adulthood

A new study shows that kids who have excellent self-control are more likely to grow into healthy, successful adults.

Having self-control means (among other things) being able to wait your turn, being neat and tidy and being able to plan ahead.

If you don’t have a lot of self-control, it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t be successful as an adult. But in the study, the kids who had more self-control were less likely to become dependent on drugs, have health problems or commit a crime.

Researchers followed about 1,000 children in New Zealand for more than 30 years, since they were about three years old. They determined the child’s self-control level by asking parents, teachers and the kids themselves at a number of different points in their lives.

When the kids turned 32 years old, the researchers recorded their health, how much money they made and whether they had ever committed a crime.

They found that those with less self-control early in the study were up to three times more likely to have problems. Some of those children began smoking in their teens or dropped out of school. Once kids do any of these things, they become even more likely to have problems later in life.

It didn’t matter how smart the child was or how much money their parents had.

The researchers weren’t sure exactly why kids with high self-control were more likely to be successful adults, but it may be because they tend to be better at planning, reaching goals and looking for future opportunities.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
The researchers in the study explained that people who set goals for themselves and plan steps to reach those goals have more self-control and are more successful. Do you have a goal right now?  If so, what is it? What steps would you take to make sure you achieve your goal?
If you don’t have any goals, do you ever think about making some?  Do you think setting goals is an important part of life?

Reading Prompt
Before reading the article, pick a partner to talk about what ‘self-control’ means.  Identify different types of self control and how people monitor their control.

After reading the article, discuss with your partner how your original conversation before reading helped you to understand the article?

Explain, initially with support and direction, how their skills in listening, speaking, writing, viewing, and  representing help them make sense of what they read (e.g., reading a text independently is easier after discussing the topic with a partner and/or talking about it in a group) (OME, Reading: 4.2)

explain, in conversations with peers and/or the teacher or in a reader’s notebook, how their skills in listening, speaking, writing, viewing, and representing help them make sense of what they read (OME, Reading: 4.2)

Grammar Feature: Verbs
Verbs are action words.  Some verbs are: run, swim, speak or sleep.  Circle or underline all of the verbs in the article.  Then think of at least 10 verbs that could be connected with people who have high self-control.