Participants in the school behavioral program grew up healthier and more successful than their peers. Scientists have published the results of a study that lasted more than 30 years
Several decades later, researchers at the University of Washington took stock of the Positive Behavior Program that was practiced in elementary school as part of a social development project. Scientists faced the question: can the development of social interaction skills at an early stage help in the formation of a harmonic and successful personality?
This experiment dates back to 1985, when eight hundred pupils from Seattle elementary schools took part. As an element of an education and prevention program, parents and teachers had to build up strong ties with children and help them develop loyalty to family and school. Social behavior skills were built and reinforced in the young participants and an environment was created for them for the formation of social ties. For this purpose, the now well-known behavioral tools were used, including a focus on responsible actions, reinforcement of positive behavior, creation of conditions for active social interaction and joint projects and groupings. The parents were asked to encourage positive behavior, provide comprehensive support for the child, and communicate with the child in an open and friendly manner. There was also a control group that included pupils from other elementary classes in Seattle, who studied according to the regular program.
Decades later, the grown-up program participants and the control group were tested. Good health and excellent well-being, good education, strong family and social ties, and stable earnings were the criteria of social and economic success. It turned out that on absolutely all points, the participants of the Positive Behavior Program outperformed the children from the control group. They had a higher income, they took better care of their health and had stronger social ties. Based on the results of the experiment, we can say with all confidence that working on one’s behavior at an early age provides an accumulating effect, which also may be called the “snowball” effect, resulting in the fact that children who have learned to communicate with other people and take responsibility for their decisions, grow up to be happier, more self-aware and more independent adults.