Behavioral capital has been defined as 'the accumulation of positive individual attributes such as social competence, decision making and problem-solving skills, coping strategies, personal efficacy, self-esteem, attitudes and values that help the individual remain resilient in times of adversity or take advantage of talents and opportunities' (Schooling and Kuh, 2002). It involves the kinds of adverse and protective childhood experiences with short- and possibly long-term effects on behavioral choices and the underlying mechanisms through which they may operate. Many of the attributes of behavioral capital are acquired more easily during child and adolescent development, and while they may be acquired later, it is often harder to do so (Hertzman and Wiens, 1996; Kuh et al, 2004c). Behavioral capital is likely to lead to healthy behavioral choices throughout life, either directly or indirectly by influencing many aspects of adult life that shape adult behaviors. Furthermore, as many aspects of behavioral capital affect educational aspirations and achievement as well as the adoption of health behaviors, the relationship found between educational achievements and health behaviors may reflect their common origins in behavioral capital (Kuh et al, 2004c)
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