Catholic students have better self-discipline, US study finds

Light of truth

A recent study by the University of California Santa Barbara has found that a Catholic education helps to improve students’ self-discipline. According to associate professor Michael Gottfried’s and doctoral student Jacob Kirksey’s findings, Catholic schools are better at instilling traits of self-discipline in their students than US public schools and other private schools.

Their study focused on answering two questions. One: Are children in Catholic elementary schools more self-disciplined than comparable students in other schools, as measured by their likelihood to engage in verbal and physical confrontations and control their tempers? And two: Is the relationship between Catholic school attendance and self-discipline stronger in certain subsets of students?

The study’s data set was drawn from two cohorts, comprising 15,000 – 17,000 kindergarteners who attended public schools and 1,000 – 2,000 who attended non-public schools, of which close to 50% attended a Catholic school.

“The most obvious feature that Catholic schools and similar faith-based schools have in common is their focus on religion including such specifically Judeo-Christian values as humility, obedience, kindness, tolerance, self-sacrifice and perseverance,” the authors added.

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