Cool in school? You're probably not any more

A new study claims that 'cool kids' tend to struggle more when they reach adulthood

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These boys might look the part when they're 12 – but what happens to them when everyone grows up?

Have you ever noticed that as you ascend into adulthood you're leaving behind all those people who used to be hot shit at school? We all remember those kids: smoking at 11, kissing by 12, getting into 18 certificate films at 13. Now it turns out that children who act older than they are during their teenage years are more likely to suffer as they get older.

In a new study published by Child Development, an academic journal that covers developmental psychology from the foetal period to adolescence, scientists found that children and teenagers who push themselves to be seen as the social elite in school will often fade away during adulthood.

The ten-year study followed 184 students from the ages of 13 to 23 and discovered that those who displayed "pseudomature behaviours" (i.e. act older than their age) were seen as cooler by their peers. But as time went on, the study found that that behaviour became less and less attractive as friends caught up. These once popular kids then needed to intensify their risky behaviour in order to impress an older set of peers, leading to criminal acts like shoplifting and vandalism, while others matured and stopped focusing on what's "cool".

So those kids who used to impress you by joyriding and stealing their dad's whisky? Chances are they're moping around as grown-ups trying to relive the glory days.

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