Stuart Buck cites an article on homeschooling and socialization by Richard G. Medlin, a psychology professor.
Shyers (1992a, 1992b), in the most thorough study of home-schooled children’s social behavior to date, tested 70 children who had been entirely home-schooled and 70 children who had always attended traditional schools. The two groups were matched in age (all were 8-10 years old), race, gender, family size, socioeconomic status, and number and frequency of extracurricular activities. Shyers measured self-concept and assertiveness and found no significant differences between the two groups.
Then researchers videotaped groups of children playing and asked observers to rate the children’s behavior. Observers didn’t know such groups were traditionally schooled and which were homeschooled.
The observers used the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist . . . , a checklist of 97 problem behaviors such as argues, brags or boasts, doesn’t pay attention long, cries, disturbs other children, isolates self from others, shy or timimd, and shows off. The results were striking — the mean problem behavior score for children attending conventional schools was more than eight times higher than that of the home-schooled group.
Traditionally schooled children were louder, more aggressive and more competitive.
Kids today are ruder than ever before, claims a story on The Brat Pack in Parents magazine.
“I had a child yell at me in class, and I corrected him,” says Shannon Arlington, a second-grade teacher in Middleport, New York. “I told him that shouting was not a polite way to speak to a teacher. That evening, his mother called and yelled at me too, saying how dare I give her child a lecture on what is and isn’t polite.”
Perhaps parents who are with their children all day are less tolerant of obnoxious behavior.
Update: A Christian Science Monitor column uses falling crime, pregnancy and drug use rates to argue that today’s teenagers aren’t self-centered egoists after all.