If you destroy the dreams of the young, the young will dream of drugs and ill-behavior. Incredible new research has found a link between between kids who drop of out of high school and college and young adults who are naughty.
“Kids’ expectations and how those expectations affect risky health behaviours are something that we, as a society, might be worried about,” Washington State University economics professor Ben Cowan said in an interview with the Star. “I generally believe when people have a brighter view of the future they have a better behaviour today.”
The research focused on the expectations 17-year olds graduates had of college life. The study followed them over a two year period as they made the transition to college. It seems that the high tuition fees has an effect on the behavior of kids trying to access colleges.
The study found that for each $1,000 more a state charged for a year of college, the number of sexual partners among those 17-year-olds on the margins jumped by 26 per cent, the days spent smoking cigarettes increased 14 per cent, and cannabis use rose 23 per cent.
It is the kids who are at risk of seeing their college hopes dashed that respond in this way. The kids who will comfortably enter college do not react with negative behaviors.
The research discussed the possibility that in states with lower tuition fees, teenagers would see their friends more often and still be around their siblings. They suggest that the better health choices made by the better educated may have more to do with the realization of their expectations rather than something inherent in the schooling itself.
The study which was published in the Economics of Education Review recommends that
Legislators take into account the negative effect on behavior that high tuition fees can have and the consequential costs felt in public services and the criminal justice system.
“Well-targeted policies that raise teenage college prospects may be an effective way to deter risky behaviour among youths. These things might not come up in the big cost-benefit analysis.”