This personality trait may indicate whether your child is destined for success in life

Stubbornness and rule breaking been linked with success.
Stubbornness and rule breaking been linked with success.  Photo: Getty Images

Do you ever find yourself exasperated by your child's stubbornness? Does your daughter continually disobey authority? Or does your son hate doing what he's told?

If so: congratulations!

If recent research is to be believed, a child with a stubborn streak is more likely to over-achieve in education, and go on to earn more once in the job market.

The study's findings, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, suggested that a tendency towards rule-breaking has a positive correlation with earning a higher individual income in adult life.

Researchers suggested that this might be because those with a stubborn nature are more willing to fight their own corner.

"[W]e might assume that students who scored high on this scale might earn a higher income because they are more willing to be more demanding during critical junctures such as when negotiating salaries or raises," said the study's authors. "For instance, individuals who scored low on Agreeableness were also shown to earn more money."

"Another explanation might be that individuals with higher levels of rule-breaking and defiance of parental authority also have higher levels of willingness to stand up for their own interests and aims, a characteristic that leads to more favourable individual outcomes."

Researchers studied data from a 1968 study on school-age children in Luxembourg, following more than 745 participants into adult life and assessing their "lifetime educational and occupational achievements."

While the study may offer reassurance to parents of stubborn children, one theory behind the findings may give some cause for concern.

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"We also cannot rule out that individuals who are likely or willing to break rules get higher pay for unethical reasons."

"For instance, research in the field of organisational psychology showed that employees invest in unethical or deviant workplace behaviour when they are not satisfied with their income and when they have a high level of love of money."

The Telegraph, London