The Link Between Academic Rigor And Decreased 'Risky' Behavior Among High Schoolers

A recent study found a more rigorous high school math and science curriculum correlated with decreased risky student behavior, like binge drinking and drug use.
Buses at Coral Shores High School in Tavernier, Fla., on Sept. 7, 2017. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)

What happens when schools increase their math and science requirements? Well, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Health Economics, it’s correlated with decreased risky behavior, including binge drinking and drug use.

The study followed more than 100,000 students in 47 states over 10 years. Washington State University professor , who co-authored the study, speculates that a more rigorous curriculum not only gives

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Robert Smith Pledges To Pay Off Student Loans For Morehouse College's Class of 2019
The billionaire founder of investment firm Vista Equity Partners made the surprise announcement in front of roughly 400 students while delivering the college's commencement address on Sunday.
NPR3 min read
'There's Something About Sweetie' — Something Irrepressibly Joyous
Sandhya Menon's followup to her hit young adult novel When Dimple Met Rishi follows a young woman with a big voice, a big personality — and to her family's dismay (though not her own), a big body.
NPR2 min readPolitics
President Trump's Golf Scores Hacked On U.S. Golf Association Account
The awful scores of 101, 100, 108 and 102 were posted to Trump's USGA-administered handicap system on Friday, according to Golfweek.