Having a good relationship with friends and family during childhood and adolescence is more important than academic achievement in determining well being in adulthood.
Researchers from Deakin University and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia used data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study which had followed around 804 New Zealanders over a period of 32 years.
The researchers found that the well being of an adult depended on positive coping strategies, sense of meaning and social engagement during childhood and adolescence while academic achievements did not have any influence.
"Our findings show that social connectedness is a more important pathway to adult wellbeing (as we have defined it) than academic ability. If these pathways are separate, then positive social development across childhood and adolescence requires investments beyond development of the academic curriculum", the researchers wrote in their report.