“Grit”: Determining Perseverance in Youth and Their Success
June 24, 2016

Perseverance in Youth and Consistency

A psychologist named Angela Duckworth created a term called grit. Grit is a common belief today, that perseverance in youth and consistency can lead to success. Even more than traditional factors like talent, I.Q., or achievement in school. Psychology Today released an article recently that discusses if perseverance in youth and consistency can determine or predict success throughout life.


“Grit”, is defined as perseverance in youth and commitment to long-term goals. But to truly understand “grit”, it is important to be able to grasp the two separate components of it. The first, is that youth must have the perseverance to keep working toward a goal despite the obstacles encountered. The second, they must also have the pursuit of a single goal or passion. Without the second, perseverance in youth is often lacking.

Does Grit Work

To test if grit determines success, researchers reviewed 88 independent studies which involved more than 66,000 participants. Their findings call into question whether “grit” is a trait that assists in the prediction of success, and whether it can be improved through practice.

Researchers found that perseverance in youth, is closely related to conscientiousness. Conscientiousness is considered one of the five main personality traits. Conscientiousness includes traits like organization, self-control, thoughtfulness and goal-directed behavior. Psychologists define conscientiousness as a trait that is determined by genetics and environment, not a skill that can be enhanced with practice. They believe that it can change over time, but cannot be taught. So ultimately perseverance in youth is not something that can be taught or improved through practice.

But what about consistency of a goal or passion? Does having a single goal or passion create success? According to research, when it questions consistency, they don’t tend to predict success. The research reviews concluded that an individual doesn’t need to be single-minded in pursuit of a goal in order to be successful. While perseverance in teens and passion is important, it is not the most important indicator of future success. Original factors like academic achievements, I.Q., and talent may still be the best indicator of success in the future. If youth have those traits and the components of grit, they have nothing to lose.

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