Those “cool” kids who picked on you in middle school? Yeah, they’re probably losers as adults.

By Seriously Science | June 19, 2014 12:46 pm
Photo: Flickr/Justin P Lambert

Photo: Flickr/Justin P Lambert

If your adolescence was anything like mine, it involved more than a small dose of harassment from the “cool” kids. To console me, my mom would always tell me that those kids would end up the losers. Well, guess what — she was right! These scientists tracked kids from middle school until their mid-twenties. They found that popular kids ended up having fewer close relationships and were more likely to be involved in crime and substance abuse. I guess I feel better now?

What Ever Happened to the “Cool” Kids? Long-Term Sequelae of Early Adolescent Pseudomature Behavior.

“Pseudomature behavior-ranging from minor delinquency to precocious romantic involvement-is widely viewed as a nearly normative feature of adolescence. When such behavior occurs early in adolescence, however, it was hypothesized to reflect a misguided overemphasis upon impressing peers and was considered likely to predict long-term adjustment problems. In a multimethod, multireporter study following a community sample of 184 adolescents from ages 13 to 23, early adolescent pseudomature behavior was linked cross-sectionally to a heightened desire for peer popularity and to short-term success with peers. Longitudinal results, however, supported the study’s central hypothesis: Early adolescent pseudomature behavior predicted long-term difficulties in close relationships, as well as significant problems with alcohol and substance use, and elevated levels of criminal behavior.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: feelings shmeelings
  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    having fewer close relationships and were more likely to be involved in crime and substance abuse” Born to the Beltway, social advocacy, religious bureaucracy, and police departments everywhere.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    Interesting correlation. To say, “a misguided overemphasis upon impressing peers and was considered likely to predict long-term adjustment problems.” still doesn’t address WHY this happens.

    Maybe of the 163 kids in the study, a normal percent suffered child abuse or something which caused them to seek affirmations outside their homes? Maybe of the 163 kids in the study, a normal percent had older siblings that introduced them to normal teenage things at an earlier age?

    Regardless, from my high school class; Brad is in prison, Michelle had her kids taken from her, Fletcher is dead, and I live a pretty nice typical middle class life… so there’s that.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    Interesting correlation. To say, “a misguided overemphasis upon impressing peers and was considered likely to predict long-term adjustment problems.” still doesn’t address WHY this happens.

    Maybe of the 184 kids in the study, a normal percent suffered child abuse or something which caused them to seek affirmations from peers outside their homes? Maybe of the 184 kids in the study, a normal percent had older siblings that introduced them to normal teenage things at an earlier age? Maybe a normal percent had low serotonin levels and had to get bigger thrills. IDK.

    Regardless, from my high school class; Brad is in prison, Michelle is divorced and had her kids taken from her, Fletcher is dead, and I live a pretty nice, typical middle class life… so there’s that.

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