Parents of cheeky children rejoice – there’s a silver lining to all that mischief. A new study finds there is a link between behaviour and salary. And, according to the researchers, the naughtier your children, the higher their future incomes.
A recent study published in Developmental Psychology followed 745 children in Luxembourg from the time they were about 12 years old in 1968 until 2008, when their average age was 52. And the results are in. People who defied authority as kids tended to have higher incomes as grownups.
Going by this theory, I should be a billionaire living in a beach house on my own island right about now.
The study used information taken from the children, their parents and their teachers. Although there were several other measurements involved in the study, including socio-economic background, what stood out the most was that ““rule-breaking and defiance of parental authority” was the best predictor of which students ended up making the most money.
The findings surprised researchers from the University of Luxembourg, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The Free University of Berlin, who conducted the study. They have a few interesting theories about why this might be.
“Students who scored high on this scale might earn a higher income because they are more willing to be more demanding during critical junctures such as when negotiating salaries or raises,” their report explains.
The research also suggest that troublemakers, “have higher levels of willingness to stand up for their own interests and aims, a characteristic that leads to more favourable individual outcomes—in our case, income.”
While there are a few limitations to the study, the results can be seen as positive, especially for parents with naughty toddlers, defiant preschoolers and terribly behaved teens. Your little troublemaker could end up tomorrow’s leading entrepreneur.
We may just get that beach house after all.