Seminar: “Do behaviors in kindergarten predict economic outcomes in adulthood?”

Dr Francis Vergunst

Dr Francis Vergunst is a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment at University of Montreal, Canada. His work focuses on the association between childhood behaviour and future education and economic outcomes. Dr Vergunst previously completed a PhD at University of Oxford where he examined the use of compulsory interventions in psychiatry and how they affect patients’ social situation. He has parallel interests in climate change and mental health and is currently a visiting researcher at University of Sydney.

In a series of papers, drawing on two Canadian birth cohort studies and tax records spanning three decades, I show that children’s behaviours at age 6 years are associated with future earnings and welfare receipt. Specifically, teacher-ratings of children’s inattention and aggression-opposition are associated with lower earnings and higher welfare receipt from age 18 to 36 years, while prosocial behaviours are associated with higher earnings and lower welfare receipt, independent of hyperactivity and anxiety, and after adjustment for the child’s IQ and family background. The implications for early screening and prevention will be discussed.

Thursday 13th June 12.30pm-1.30pm Room 405a, Level 4, 207 Bouverie Street.