Last October, the National Bureau of Economic Research distributed a study showing a compelling correlation between high-school popularity—measured by how many “friendship nominations” each kid received from their peers—and future earnings in boys. Thirty-five years later, the authors estimated, boys who ranked in the 80th percentile of popularity earned, on average, 10 percent more than those in the 20th. There are obvious chicken-and-egg questions in all studies like this; maybe these kids were already destined for dominance, which is why they were popular. But Gabriella Conti, an economist and first author of the paper, notes that she and her colleagues took into consideration the personality traits of their subjects, measuring their levels of openness, agreeableness, extroversion, and so forth. “And adolescent popularity is predictive beyond them,” she says, “which tells me this is about more than just personality. It’s about interpersonal relations. High school is when you learn how to master social relationships—and to understand how, basically, to ‘play the game.’ ” Or don’t.So...you want your child to be well-liked but not popular?
Is that it?
Maybe so. Another study found that 10th grade girls who self-identified as brainy fared well compared to "princesses":
At 24, the princesses had lower self-esteem than the brainy girls, which certainly wasn’t true when they were 16.Why You Never Truly Leave High School
By Jennifer Senior Published Jan 20, 2013 | New York Magazine