Perseverance in Youth: Does it Indicate Success?

“Grit”: Determining Perseverance in Youth and Their Success


There is a common belief today, that determination and consistency can lead to success. More than traditional factors like talent, I.Q., or achievement in school. This belief is called “grit”. This term was created by a psychologist named Angela Duckworth. A recent article by Psychology Today discusses what “grit” mean in terms of perseverance in youth.

What is “Grit”?

“Grit”, is defined as perseverance in youth and commitment to long-term goals. But to truly understand “grit”, it is important to be able to grasp the two separate components of it. The first, is that youth must have the perseverance to keep working toward a goal despite the obstacles encountered. The second, they must also have the pursuit of a single goal or passion. Without the second, perseverance in youth is often lacking.

Testing “Grit”

While this theory seems logical, another review states that “grit” may not be as important to success as people think. To test this, researchers reviewed 88 independent studies which involved more than 66,000 participants. Their findings call into question whether “grit” is a trait that assists in the prediction of success, and whether it can be improved through practice.

What researchers found was that the first component of “grit”, perseverance in youth, is closely related to conscientiousness, which is considered one of the five main personality traits. Conscientiousness includes traits like organization, self-control, thoughtfulness and goal-directed behavior. Psychologists define conscientiousness as a trait that is determined by genetics and environment, not a skill that can be enhanced with practice. They believe that it can change over time, but cannot be taught. So ultimately perseverance in youth is not something that can be taught or improved through practice.

Does it Predict Success

But what about the second component of “grit”? Does have a single goal or passion create success? According to research, when it questions consistency, they don’t tend to predict success. The research reviews conclude that an individual doesn’t need to be single-minded in pursuit of a goal in order to be successful. While perseverance in youth and passion is important, it is not the most important indicator of future success.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. As a residential treatment center for teens, we try to go above and beyond other RTC’s by having not only one on-site psychiatrist, but two practitioners who see each student weekly. We also have an academic component that uses an accredited curriculum and licensed/credentialed teachers. With all of this, we strive to give each student the most efficient and beneficial experience possible.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call today!

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