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Preschoolers Who Learn Self-Control Gain Many Benefits As They Mature

August 15, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Preschoolers who learn self-control when eating do better in school and are more likely to control their weight as they get older, a U.S. study finds. The study was based on data collected between 1968 and 1974, when 653 four-year-olds completed a delay of gratification test. They were given one treat and were told that they would be given a second treat if they could wait to eat the first for 15 minutes. Follow-up studies found that delaying gratification as a preschooler was associated with adolescent academic strength, social competence, planfulness, ability to handle stress, higher SAT scores and lower body mass.
Tanya R. Schlam et al., " 'Preschoolers’ Delay of Gratification Predicts Their Body Mass 30 Years Later", The Journal of Pediatrics, August 15, 2012, © Elsevier B.V.
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