Marissa Higgins
September 22, 2016 10:48 am

We think it’s a true pretty universally acknowledged that if you have someone in your life who gives you shit, whether it’s your mother, father, significant other, or otherwise, it can feel like the most obnoxious thing in the world. Recent science suggests, however, that girls who had mothers who “nagged” them are more likely to go to college, get better-paying jobs, and avoid teen pregnancy.

The study comes from the University of Essex and was led by researcher Ericka Rascon-Ramirez. This study is no joke: Between the years of 2004 and 2010, the study followed 15,000 girls between the ages of 13 and 14. Their findings suggest that having a parent who has high expectations (in this case, described as “nagging” ) often results in girls making more “successful” life choices.

In this case, the “primary” parent is what the study actually examined, but because mothers are generally (not always!) the primary caregiver when it comes to child-rearing, the suggestion is that it’s the nagging of moms, not dads, that has the final push. And while we’re on the subject of “nagging,” we have to point out: Nagging is one of those terms that feels really gendered against women and pretty stereotypical. What crosses the line between holding someone accountable and nagging them, aside from the person’s sex or gender? Something to think about, y’all.

We think it’s important to point out that these are elements the study tested for — not necessarily end-all, be-all of what it means to be successful or happy in your life, and these experiences aren’t all mutually exclusive. You can have a teen pregnancy and still go to college, you can have a great paying job without college, and so on. But hey, no matter where you are in life or what your goals are, it’s always worth calling up mom to say “thank you,” right?