How does our birth date shape where we fit in the school system?
November 23, 2010 10:27 PM   Subscribe

Birth date + American school system = high probability of success in _____?

It's known that children born between September and November excel in sports, due to their physical maturity vs. their classmates born through the rest of the year.

What other studies are out there about birth month, location, weather, etc. correlating with interesting traits?
posted by SeƱor Pantalones to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This site has data for the effects of relative age in hockey, soccer, baseball, academic achievement, suicide, and self-esteem.
posted by zsazsa at 10:31 PM on November 23, 2010

The book Outliers covers this, both sports and academics. I'm not sure where he got his statistics and I don't have the book in front of me, but maybe check it for a bibliography.
posted by Violet Hour at 12:15 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Somewhat related: parents having their kids start school a year later than they otherwise might, so that they'll be one of the older kids in the class, is sometimes called 'redshirting'. Might be a useful search term for you.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 3:25 AM on November 24, 2010

Remembering that each state has its own rules on the subject. My October birthday made me the youngest kid in my class in California, but I would have been the oldest kid if I'd started in Ohio (though Ohio lets you start your kid at age 7; when I got to college at 16 I was three years younger than the average freshman.)
posted by SMPA at 4:21 AM on November 24, 2010

In Outliers, it's actually the reverse. Kids born in January through August tend to do better than their peers born later in the year. I don't have the book in front of me, but only one or two of the top athletes looked at were born after August. Most were January through March babies.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:17 AM on November 24, 2010

Many parents in my a friend's city (Calabasas, CA) are holding their kids back a year so they'll be "better" than the other kids in sports and school. One father is doing this so his son will be 19 years old a month into his senior year. Therefore, he'll be better at football than the other kids. That's really the reason he gave: Football.

If you know this city, you'll know this type of asshole-arry is pretty commonplace.
posted by sideshow at 10:05 AM on November 24, 2010

Best answer: There is a term for this, sideshow, and it's known as "redshirting". The term comes from sports, but parents are holding their kids back a year for academic reasons too.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:47 AM on November 24, 2010

I just found out a week or so ago that your birth month correlates with a rise in the risk of having schizophrenia.
posted by aetg at 1:44 PM on November 24, 2010

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