Posted: 4:38 pm Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Study: ‘Cool’ kids most likely to become criminals 

By George Mathis

Being popular didn't seem to affect Screech later in life. (Getty Images)

Being popular didn’t seem to affect Screech later in life. (Getty Images)

When I was a kid, being “cool” meant hugging an air conditioning vent.

Times have changed.

From what I can gather, being cool today requires a teenager to own smartphone, a tablet, dozens of social media apps and at least a passing interest in tattoos, body piercings, hard drugs and bad music.

That seems like a lot of work.

And what’s the payoff for being cool anyway? According to a new study, the payoff may be a prison sentence.

A scientific study in the journal Child Development concludes popular kids are more likely to become criminals, alcoholics, drug abusers and have difficulty maintaining intimate relationships as adults.

The study was based on interviews of about 200 children followed from age 13 to 23.

Kids who showed a focus on “physical appearance when choosing friends” and engaged in minor delinquent behavior and were romantically involved at a young age were more likely to engage in criminal behavior later in life, reports Wired UK.

By age 22, the cool group had a 45 percent higher rate of problems related to alcohol and substance use, reports NPR.

The kids who put the most emphasis on being popular were the most likely to engage in behavior commonly associated with adults, such as drinking and having sex.

As children aged the delinquent behavior became less cool, researchers said.

“We suspect [kids] may have then engaged in more and more extreme behaviors trying to gain peer approval,” said the leader of the study, Joseph Allen, in Medical Daily. In other words, “those who got approval for drinking at 13 had to get wasted multiple times and engage in more extreme acts to try, unsuccessfully, to gain approval in later years.”

Researchers suggest popularity may stunt emotional development, but that never affected me or my comic book collection, which now numbers well over 1,000 issues.

Allen said teens see social standing as the pinnacle of achievement.

“The constant struggle [for teens is to appear] older, to seem wiser, to be taken more seriously — these factors all compel a select group … to seek out [delinquent] behaviors that, to their minds, are … ‘mature,'” writes Medical Daily.

Parents reading this may think it’s time to crack down on their kids, but another study suggests overbearing parents put their kids at greater risk of drug abuse.

Being a parent is a lot more work now too, it seems.

Thursday afternoon news plucked from the Internet:

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 comments
Bernie31
Bernie31

Hey George, makes you smile.... Huh?  Look at you Now!.....Geeks RULE!

Starik
Starik

In the "urban" schools the cool kids are already criminals from junior high on. After they drop out they just continue their behavior.

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

That was a study conducted by former high school nerds to try and undermine the high school cool kids.

Crankshaft
Crankshaft

My former assistant dated the "cool" guys and athletes years ago.  She told me that they are not hard to identify today in that they are the ones with their hands out.

The cool kids today are similar to Ethan Couch, the rich kids with all the toys, drugs, alcohol, and "cool parents" who will do anything to keep them out of jail.

Jack_Republican
Jack_Republican

Peer approval is what drives kids to extremes.  Kids with poor self esteem will do most anything to get attention. And the sad part is their heroes are usually show biz folks.

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LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

I dunno.  When and where I went to school, the over-achievers were the "cool" ones.

We all had cars and girls as well as scholarships and athletic letters. My one nod to rebellion was a pack a day Camel habit

The pot-smokers (or "heads") were on the fringe.  The radical guys MIGHT have had an ear pierced.


*sigh*  now I feel old.

factb4fiction
factb4fiction

"Cool Kids Most Likely to Become Criminals" says study by uncool nerd scientists. 

flachknockdown
flachknockdown

BS THIS WAS A STUDY ? All they had to do is talk to anyone from the 70s that went to hgh school . By the way that's nbot what we called cool.

ChrisATL
ChrisATL

Study based on 200 kids? Can you say "small sample size"?

DontTread
DontTread

Superficial, self-centered, drug-addicted kids become criminals later in life?  Gee, whoda thunk it?


These are the same ones who vote Democrat and demand $15.00 an hour for flipping burgers because they have no other skill set (besides the aforementioned drug use, Twitter, and Facebook).

EdUktr
EdUktr

Alas, George—to be politically correct we've had to define down deviancy.

But we've been able to export much deviancy to other countries in our music, movies and culture. Even to those countries in Asia threatening to overtake us economically.

So there's still a glimmer of hope?