Giving more money to low-income parents improves their children’s personalities and prospects, concludes a study in North Carolina.
Four years into the Great Smoky Mountains Study of Youth, the families of roughly a quarter of the children — all Cherokees — started getting an extra $4,000 a year per adult from a new casino. The money raised household incomes by almost 20 percent on average.
With extra money coming in, parents reported less stress, less drinking and better parent-child relationships, according to a long-term follow-up. They were as likely to work, but spent more time supervising their children.
Children had fewer behavioral and emotional disorders, the study found. The money appeared to boost children’s conscientiousness and agreeableness, reports the Washington Post.
“There are very powerful correlations between conscientiousness and agreeableness and the ability to hold a job, to maintain a steady relationship,” said Emilia Simeonova, a Johns Hopkins professor and one of the paper’s co-authors. “The two allow for people to succeed socially and professionally.”
Children with the most personality problems improved the most.