Expectations of an early death may lead to lower socioeconomic outcomes

Young people who did not expect to live to age 35 had lower levels of educational attainment and lower personal earnings later in life, a new study has found.

The research is the first to show a link between perceived survival expectations at adolescence and socioeconomic status among adults aged between 24 to 32 years.

Even after controlling for factors such as violence involvement, drug use, parental education, and neighborhood poverty, those who perceived a short life expectancy were 73 percent more likely to have only a high school education than those who expected long lives.

“People who have fatalistic beliefs about the future may set fewer goals, seek less guidance and attempt fewer solutions to their problems,” Quynh Nguyen, the study’s lead author, said.

Read more at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill