Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Educators should encourage college students to shoot for the stars, study suggests

Date:
September 30, 2010
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Less academically promising students should not be discouraged from setting high educational goals, according to new research.

Less academically promising students should not be discouraged from setting high educational goals, according to one Kansas State University professor's research.

Chardie Baird, K-State assistant professor of sociology, and John Reynolds, Florida State University professor of sociology, looked at the mental health consequences of shooting for the stars versus planning for the probable in their publication Is There a Downside to Shooting for the Stars? Unrealized Educational Expectations and Symptoms of Depression.

Their research, published earlier this year in the American Sociological Review, recently won the best publication award for the mental health section of the American Sociological Association.

As educators themselves Baird and Reynolds were especially interested in studying college students. Baird said recent research suggests that younger generations have ambitious educational plans.

Additionally, Baird said many social-psychological theories suggest that if people do not realize their plans, they're likely to be depressed. Baird and Reynolds wanted to see if the same would hold in the specific case of educational goals and outcomes.

"We were interested in the topic on a personal level because we want to provide the best advice to our students," Baird said. "We were also interested because there has been a real push toward college for all, and we wanted to see what the consequences might be for pushing those with apparent limited academic potential toward higher degrees."

The researchers used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which are both nationally representative secondary data sources. Their research ended with positive results: Baird and Reynolds found that there is nothing wrong with encouraging students, even less academically promising students, from pursuing their higher education goals.

"The big story is that we shouldn't really discourage students from shooting for the stars," Baird said. "At least in terms of mental health, there are no real consequences for trying and failing to meet educational plans."

The researchers coined the term "adaptive resilience," which means that people will adapt their reactions to prevent depression if they don't meet their educational plans. For instance, people may actively work to downplay negative feedback by focusing on the best-case scenario or the lessons learned on the way to a failure.

"Considering that there are material and psychological rewards for getting more education, there is just no reason to discourage students or your children from trying, even if it looks like they don't show academic potential," Baird said. "The worst thing that could happen to them if they fail is they will not suffer from depression. The best thing that could happen is that they will live healthier, happier lives like others with higher educational attainment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Educators should encourage college students to shoot for the stars, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930112204.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2010, September 30). Educators should encourage college students to shoot for the stars, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930112204.htm
Kansas State University. "Educators should encourage college students to shoot for the stars, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930112204.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins