Homeschooling Produces Well Adjusted, Happy Adults According To Study

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

In a new study published November 10th, Harvard researchers Ying Chen, Christina Hinton and Tyler J. VanderWeele found there were some notable differences in outcomes comparing homeschooling and public schools. Homeschooled students are more likely to volunteer their time, be more forgiving, attend religious services more frequently, have greater purpose in life, use marijuana less and have fewer lifetime sexual partners. One possible negative association from the study found that homeschooled students are less likely than public schooled peers to attain a college degree.

In the introduction of the study, the authors wrote, “there has been some prior research on homeschooling versus institutional schooling for a number of student outcomes, with homeschooling associated with greater civic engagement, less alcohol and drug use, better sleep, equal or better mental health and well-being and equal or better social-emotional skills.”

For this study, they analyzed data from approximately 12,000 children of nurses from the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) between 1999 and 2010. Participants who attended religious schools or were homeschooled were more likely to attend religious services, live with both biological parents, have family dinners frequently, and have lower rates of smoking, binge drinking, drug use, maternal depression or maternal smoking. 

Compared to those attending public schools, homeschooled students were 51% more likely to attend religious services frequently, reported greater frequency of volunteering, and had substantially higher levels of forgiveness on average but were 23% less likely to attain a college degree.


In conclusion the authors state, “There have been controversies over regulations concerning homeschooling and also over whether and what types of public-school services should be made accessible to the homeschooled, with many of the discussions centered around academic resources and extracurricular activities. With the growth in internet use, homeschooling has become increasingly easier and more popular in the United States. The Covid-19 pandemic has also forced some parents into home-schooling and this may itself alter long-term practices. Although the associations in our study warrant further investigation in future studies, the results here provide some suggestive evidence that support for the psychological well-being of homeschoolers may be worthwhile.”

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Last year Professor Elizabeth Bartholet, also from Harvard, called for a “presumptive ban on homeschooling, with the burden on parents to demonstrate justification for permission to homeschool.” 

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Case and Chen wrote, “The picture of the home-schooled student that emerges from the data doesn’t resemble the socially awkward and ignorant stereotype to which Ms. Bartholet and others appeal. Rather, home-schooled children generally develop into well-adjusted, responsible and socially engaged young adults.”


About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and contributor to The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

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