Researchers concluded that unrealized educational expectations don't spell depression among adults.
In a new study, Florida State University Sociology Professor John R. Reynolds, the director of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy at Florida State, and co-author Chardie L. Baird, an assistant professor of sociology at Kansas State University, found no long-term emotional costs of aiming high and falling short when it comes to educational aspirations, despite several social psychological theories that would seem to suggest otherwise.
The researchers' conclusion: Society should not discourage unpromising students who have dreams of earning a college degree.
"We should not be in a hurry to dissuade these students from planning to go to college," Reynolds said. "In fact, the only way to guarantee negative mental health outcomes is not trying. Aiming high and failing is not consequential for mental health, while trying may lead to higher achievements and the mental and material benefits that go along with those achievements."
"Is There a Downside to Shooting for the Stars? Unrealized Educational Expectations and Symptoms of Depression," was published in the American Sociological Review.