Catholic Schools Foster Self-Discipline Among Students


A study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found that Catholic schools foster self-discipline and self-control among students better than those in other private schools or in public schools.

Using two national surveys on elementary school students, researchers analyzed the behavior of thousands of school students in public, Catholic, and non-Catholic schools.

According to the teachers in Catholic schools, their students are less likely to be disruptive than those in other schools. Children do not get angry, fight, disturb activities, or act impulsively as frequently as their peers in public or private schools.

“Religious schools may have a competitive advantage at shaping character skills because students are not just held accountable to teachers – they are also held accountable to God,” said CATO Institute expert Corey A. DeAngelis.

Another finding is that Catholic students show more self-control than those in other private or public schools. They handle peer pressure well, can control their temper, respect one’s property and are open to their fellow students’ ideas.

Regardless of their personal characteristics or backgrounds, Catholic school students exhibit more self-discipline than students in public schools and other private schools.

The results of the study suggest that attending a Catholic school may be beneficial to children.

However, CATO Institute expert Corey A. DeAngelis explained that there are other factors to consider for a child’s good behavior, and not just the type of school the student is enrolled at.

In an interview with Catholic News Agency, DeAngelis said, “Religious schools may have a competitive advantage at shaping character skills because students are not just held accountable to teachers – they are also held accountable to God.”

Elizabeth Goettl, CEO of Cristo Rey Network, a Catholic school system, said, “Catholic school students may exhibit more self-discipline and self-control than their peers in other schools because of the consistent and high expectations set for such behaviors by all of the adults in the school.”

Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Catholic News Agency

Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at


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