Education

Disruptive classmates, long-term harm

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Science  31 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6405, pp. 889-890
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6405.889-c

Exposure to disruptive behavior, like bullying, during primary school can have lifelong effects.

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Children who are behaviorally disruptive during primary school can have harmful impacts on their classmates into adulthood. Carrell et al. use data from Florida, USA, to show that a child who experiences domestic violence at home (a well-recognized proxy for that child demonstrating disruptive behavior such as bullying) can lower their classmates' secondary-school math and reading test scores, lower their likelihood of enrolling in college, and reduce earnings in their mid-20s by 3%. Differential exposure to such classmates accounts for roughly 5% of the rich-poor earnings gap in adulthood.

Amer. Econ. Rev. www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.20160763 (2018).

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