So your high school senior says she wants to be a doctor. Great news, right? It is if she's got the talent and the grades to back up her ambition. Unfortunately, the goals of too many teens now outpace what they are likely to achieve, a problem that can lead to wasted time and resources, not to mention anxiety and distress, according to a new Florida State University study.
Sociology Professor John Reynolds tracked changes in high school seniors' educational and occupational plans between 1976 and 2000 and found the gap in goals and actual achievements has grown over the 25-year period. The study, co-authored by FSU graduate students Michael Stewart, Ryan MacDonald and Lacey Sischo, was published in the journal Social Problems."Today's teens are both highly ambitious and increasingly unrealistic," Reynolds said. "While some youth clearly benefit from heightened ambition, it can lead to disappointment and discouragement rather than optimism and success."
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