Children Who Don't Listen to Their Parents Make Higher Salaries, Study Says

Children who have a tendency to break the rules are likelier to earn more than their peers, a 2015 report notes.

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By Justin Chan

Children who don't have a habit of listening to their parents might be happy about what that means for them, Fatherly reports.

Citing a 2015 study published in the journal Developmental Psychology, the publication suggests that "particularly stubborn kids frequently grow into particularly successful adults."

Research conducted by six scientists followed more than 700 children between the ages of 9 and 40, paying special attention to their tendency to break rules, sense of entitlement, willingness to defy their parents and amount of time they spent studying. They concluded that those who disobeyed their parents, interestingly enough, earned the highest salaries.

Related: You're Less Likely to Be Happy Once You Start Making More Than This Amount, Studies Say

Yet the study's authors could not explain the strong correlation between those who broke the rules and the income those rebellious children made. According to Time, researchers hypothesized that the surveyed rulebreakers perhaps made more money because the children were once competitive students and gradually became more demanding as adults. The authors also didn't rule out the possibility that the same unruly children were perhaps likelier to do something unethical in order to make more money.

As Fatherly point out, the report additionally didn't break down its subjects' career paths, so it's difficult to know whether a person's personality trait is responsible for his, her or their financial success. Still, if the study is any indicator, then it's probably best to challenge authority from time to time — as long as it doesn't lead to a time-out or detention.

Justin Chan

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Justin Chan is a news writer at Previously, he was a trending news editor at Verizon Media, where he covered entrepreneurship, lifestyle, pop culture, and tech. He was also an assistant web editor at Architectural Record, where he wrote on architecture, travel, and design. Chan has additionally written for Forbes, Reader's Digest, Time Out New YorkHuffPost, Complex, and Mic. He is a 2013 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where he studied magazine journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @jchan1109.

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