ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition — January 2003

In this Issue
“Remember the Titans”—The Rest of the Story
Looking Toward the Future

Ask the PowerPhrase® Expert

Life Lessons


AQP Connections
What’s Up?
The Help Desk
Out of Context
Articles in Brief
News Bites
Book Nook
January 2003 News for a Change—Home Page

NFC Index

AQP Home

Out of Context
What’s happening in the world today—from the practical to the ridiculous

Patience: More Than a Virtue
Should Road Tests Become Part of the Hiring Process?

Young adults who fume at the slowpoke ahead of them on the freeway may be racing toward high blood pressure, researchers at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2002 report.

This pioneer study examined the relationship between the feeling of being pressed for time and impatience with the development of hypertension in young urban adults. Time urgency/impatience (TUI) is a major component of so-called Type A behavior patterns. Other characteristics of Type A are competitiveness, hostility, tenseness, and aggressiveness.

“Our findings indicate that TUI assessed during young adulthood is associated with increased risk of hypertension years later,” says lead author LiJing L. Yan, Ph.D., research assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. “In general, the stronger the feelings of impatience and time pressure, the higher the risk of developing hypertension in the long term.”

As the costs of health and welfare benefits soar, it may be worthwhile for organizations to take a ride with applicants. Not only would that provide a quick and dirty evaluation of candidates’ abilities to deal with everyday work stress, but it also could become a way to manage future employee health costs.


Running Children Ragged
Are We Undermining Future Leaders With Too Much Busyness?

The rat race starts earlier these days. Now two-year-old children compete for admission to elite nursery schools. By the time our children are 10 years old, most of them are doing three hours of homework a night. And the overload continues as high school students compete for college slots and scholarships. Even college students are feeling the pressure; 23% of them now have double majors (compared with 14% just six years ago).

What’s behind this worrisome trend? First, our society is devoted to competition, success, and the good life. Getting into a top college is viewed as the most likely path to attaining success, so parents put their children on the treadmill almost from the day they’re born. A recent University of Michigan study found that kids between 3 and 12 years old spend 20% more time studying then they did 20 years ago (and TV watching has dropped by 23%).

The second influence seems to be tied to higher educational standards that emerged after the U.S. Department of Education commissioned a report in 1983 titled, A Nation at Risk. The panel of corporate executives, educators, and other experts warned that a “tide of mediocrity” was overtaking America’s schools, dooming an entire generation to boring jobs, lower incomes, and unsatisfying lives. School systems increased requirements and parents nagged children to stop wasting time.

The results? Children are more sleepy, cranky, and anxious. A Brown University study found that teenagers are getting about two hours less sleep a night then they need. More children are suffering from depression and perfectionism, as well as seeking psychological counseling. And there’s been a 114% climb in suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-olds since 1980.

Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, co-author of The Overscheduled Child says, “It’s high time parents and schools let up a bit. Let’s not forget that Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was a Harvard graduate, and that plenty of people who went to City College or State U. moved on to write best sellers, head up corporations, or make their millions in other ways.”

Return to top

  • Print this page
  • Save this page

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this item

View comments
Add comments
Comments FAQ

ASQ News