Good grades really do matter. This month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey to figure out if there was a link between a student’s grades and risky behavior. The study found that in 30 health behaviors, the students with poor grades were more likely to report higher levels of risky behavior and the opposite was true as well.
Here are some key observations:
- Students who reported receiving mostly Ds and Fs, were nine times more likely than students who received mostly As to report having ever injected any illegal drugs.
- Students with mostly Ds and Fs, were five times more likely than students with mostly As to report that they did not go to school at least one day in the past month because of safety concerns.
- Students with mostly Ds and Fs were more than four times more likely than students with mostly As to report that they had four or more sexual partners.
- Students with mostly As were twice as likely as students with mostly Ds and Fs to report eating breakfast every day in the past week.
- Students with mostly As were almost one and a half times more likely than students with mostly Ds and Fs to report being physically active at least 60 minutes per day on five or more days in the past week.
The CDC recommends that schools districts and states fund programs that support the social emotional learning, not just academic learning.
“As our nation’s children embark on another school year, it’s important to remember that health and academic performance are not mutually exclusive,” said CDC Director Dr.B renda Fitzgerald in a press release. “When it comes to youth, health and education professionals should work in concert with communities and parents to help them create the best possible environment for the health, well-being and future success of the next generation.”
The thing that strikes me: Kids who eat breakfast, kids who are physically active, kids who attend school, kids who make good grades: those are usually kids who have someone paying attention to what they are doing. They are being set up for success.