It’s True: Teens’ Friends Influence Grades

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Want your teenager to get better grades? Hold off on hiring a tutor and, instead, push him to hang out with the “smart kids” at school. Easier said than done, of course, but it’s been proven to work.

Researchers from Binghamton University surveyed 160 juniors from New York’s Maine-Endwell High School by asking them who their friends were. Then the researchers tracked the students’ school performance for an entire academic year.

Over time, students whose friends’ GPAs were higher than their own began to perform better academically. On the flip side, students who started off with higher GPAs than their friends saw their grades drop. Study results were published in a February issue of the academic journal PLOS ONE.

This revelation may come as no surprise to parents or teachers who witness first-hand the incredible influence friends can have over teens’ behavior. Now here’s a related finding that would be truly earth-shattering: Figuring out how to get your kids to pick friends who will exert a positive influence over them.

Got any tips on that front? Tell us in the comment section below.

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