We like to say that it is “cool to be smart” at Marshall School. A new study out this week from research affiliated with the National Science Foundation indicates that this phenomena could be contagious.
The concept that a peer network might influence children, both positively and negatively, makes common sense to parents. The study entitled “Spread of Academic Success in a High School Social Network” concludes that this effect can have a positive impact on grades as well.
In a study of 160 students in a New York high school, researchers determined that students whose friends’ average GPA was higher than their own were likely to improve their GPA over time. Likewise, if you had friends with lower GPAs, your grades were more likely to drop.
While the study was too small to draw definitive conclusions, it certainly squares with other patterns that parents see with their children, from the influence on musical tastes to clothing to hobbies.