According to research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, children very agitated at the age of 3 years are more likely to fail in their personal lives as adults.
For 30 years, scientists from Duke University in North Carolina followed the course of more than a thousand children in New Zealand.
These young people were assessed by their teachers, parents, other observers and by themselves using the following criteria: inability to control his anger, lack of motivation to achieve goals, problems completing tasks, hyperactivity, tend to act before thinking, difficulty in wait, restlessness and lack of scruples.
A likely trend
According to the psychologist Terrie Moffitt, part of the authors of this research, children who had the lowest scores were then the most likely to have respiratory problems, sexually transmitted diseases, overweight, high rates cholesterol and hypertension in adulthood.
The heads of these studies have also found that these children were also more likely to become single parents, alcoholics, drug addicts and even have trouble with the law.
"The development of children as adults was predictable for all the scores of self-control, from the lowest to highest," said Terrie Moffitt.
Change is possible
However, Alexis Piquero, a criminology professor at the University of Florida who has not participated in the research, the future of these children is not predetermined: "What is positive is that can improve self-control, which means that a person can change. "
"Identifying a pronounced lack of self-control to the youngest possible age children and teach them to overcome this problem is much better" and cheaper than paying people to reintegrate into society, "said criminologist.