Harvard Study: Homeschoolers Generally Become ‘Well-Adjusted, Responsible’ Young Adults

Results of a study conducted by researchers at Harvard University found homeschoolers grow to be young adults who are generally “well-adjusted,” particularly showing characteristics of “responsibility” and social engagement.

Researchers Brendan Case and Ying Chen of the Harvard Human Flourishing Program discussed Chen’s analysis of data on more than 12,000 children of nurses in a recent column at the Wall Street Journal.

The researchers used the data gathered on the nurses, who had all responded to surveys from 1999 to 2010, to examine how school type, estimated independently through factors such as socioeconomic status, race, and region, affected adolescents on various long-term outcomes, including educational attainment, mental health, and social integration.

Case and Chen found that while the homeschooled students in their sample were 23 percent less likely to attend college than public school students, they were “33 percent more likely to volunteer, 31 percent more forgiving, and 51 percent more likely to attend religious services” as young adults than students in public schools.

Elaborating on the issue of attendance at religious services, the researchers wrote:

The difference in religious participation has public-health implications, since those who attend services regularly have substantially lower risks of alcohol and drug abuse, depression and suicide. They also have a lower risk of premature death for any reason than those who never attend.

“Educational attainment matters a great deal, but it would take a peculiarly myopic parent to be indifferent to the loss of these broader goods so long as his child earned a bachelor’s degree,” Case and Chen said regarding the outcome on college attendance. – READ MORE