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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Clean Home, Smart Kids


Deals with a University of Michigan study which revealed a correlation between children's future success and the level of cleanliness in their homes. Comparison of educational attainment and financial earnings of persons raised in clean and dirty homes; Non-cognitive factors that play a role in determining academic and financial success.


Good-bye, GPA. So long, SATs. New research suggests that we may be able to predict children's future success from the level of cleanliness in their homes.


A University of Michigan study presented at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association uncovered a surprising correlation: children raised in clean homes were later found to have completed more school and to have higher earning potential than those raised in dirty homes. The clean homes may indicate a family that values organization and similarly helpful skills at school and work, researchers say.


Cleanliness ratings for about 5,000 households were assessed between 1968 and 1972, and respondents were interviewed 25 years later to determine educational achievement and professional earnings of the young adults who had grown up there, controlling for variables such as race, socioeconomic status and level of parental education. The data showed that those raised in homes rated "clean" to "very clean" had completed an average of 1.6 more years of school than those raised in "not very clean" or "dirty" homes. Plus, the first group's annual wages averaged about $3,100 more than the second's.


But don't buy stock in Mr. Clean and Pine Sol just yet. "We're not advocating that everyone go out and clean their homes right this minute," explains Rachel Dunifon, a University of Michigan doctoral candidate and a researcher on the study. Rather, the main implication of the study, Dunifon says, is that there is significant evidence that non-cognitive factors, such as organization and efficiency, play a role in determining academic and financial success.


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