People who develop self-control in childhood have a short unemployment phase and are much more likely to find and retain employment as adults.
The research led by Association for Psychological Science observed with their tests that children with high self-control were the ones who were typically better able to pay attention, persist with difficult tasks, and suppress inappropriate or impulsive behaviors were much more likely to find and retain employment as adults.
The researchers explained that people with low childhood self-control experienced a pronounced spike in joblessness, lost their jobs and found it more difficult to regain employment during 1980s British recession.
Michael Daly, lead researcher, said that less self-controlled children might get vulnerable to unemployment during times of economic downturn in later life, whereas developing greater self-control in childhood helps one to buffer against unemployment during hard economic times and bring long-term benefits to society, through increased employment rates and productivity.
The study suggested that less self-control could be attributed to a range of factors including a heightened vulnerability to stress due to unemployment, the adverse effect of prolonged career interruptions on skill development and a greater likelihood of falling into habits which hinder their chances of regaining employment, such as poor time management and irregular sleep patterns.