Aug 11, 2015 | By George Gantz
Success and Religion – The Importance of Social Competence in Children
A recent article in the Washington Post caught my eye: “If you want your children to succeed, teach them to share in kindergarten.” The article reports on research (tracking 753 students) validating the strong relationship between social competence in kindergarten and future wellness in adults (Damon E. Jones et all, American Journal of Public Health in July 16, 2015). This is wonderful, but it is hardly news. Missing, however, is any discussion of what leads to social competence (including sharing behaviors) among young children.
For that we need to dig a bit deeper. Jee Young Noh of Harvard reported in 2010 (International Journal of Arts and Sciences) on research involving 17,500 subjects that reaffirmed the significance of both religious environment and parental warmth on children’s social competence. According to Noh, “As many previous studies have pointed out, religious people, overall, have a greater ability to self-control and fewer externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors because they learn religious values and engage in religious services, which creates stronger social competence.”
Religious practice leads to increased social competence in children and more success for them as adults. This is news!
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