Your kid’s grades might predict drug use, other risky behaviors

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.

Sixth grade teacher Sarita Lakey, left, greets student Brayan Lopez, as he arrives at Austin Achieve public school for the start of a new school year. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Here are some  key observations:

 

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.