A Key Benefit of Going to Catholic School is Self-Discipline

There are a number of things that can influence self-discipline’s development in a person. Homelife, family relationships, and church are the typical indicators. However, schools can also play a role in this. As the largest private education provider across America, Catholic schools have been working on instilling self-discipline in students. The particular goal is to develop a person’s overall character, with established self-discipline as a major factor.

What Is Self-Discipline?

Self-discipline is basically the practice of remaining motivated and taking action despite physical or emotional issues. It’s developed from a very young age but can waiver due to a number of factors as a child develops growing up. This is why it’s very important to establish and encourage it in youth.

In recent times, there’s been an increasing need to improve students’ behaviors. Harsh external discipline used to be the appropriate corrective action, but they’re not widely viewed as unhelpful and counterproductive. Thankfully, we don’t have to resort to that anymore as Catholic education is found to instill self-discipline in children.

In 2018, Fordham University conducted a study called “Self-Discipline and Catholic Schools: Evidence from Two National Cohorts” which found some very interesting data to that end.

  • Catholic school students are not as disruptive or likely to act boisterous compared to those in other schools, whether private or public

There were less “externalizing behaviors” in Catholic students than the peers they were matched with who came from other schools. Compared to them, the Catholic school children in the study had far more self-discipline. Instances that were considered disruptive (acted on impulse, argued, fought, got mad) manifested far less in the Catholic students.

Data from the study showed that the margin for one cohort got higher over time, from -0.06 standard deviations in kindergarten to -0.34 in the fifth grade. The other cohort had a similar pattern materialize as well.

  • Catholic school children have more self-discipline than students from other private or public schools

As part of the study, the differences in Catholic students’ attendance and externalizing behaviors were studied. The basis for this included parameters such as gender, socioeconomic status, race, and even their family immigration status.

Systemically, there was no difference. Regardless of personal characteristics or background concerns, children in Catholic schools showed more discipline than other students.

  • Compared to students from other public or private schools, Catholic students have more self-control

For the first cohort, teachers for every grade level said Catholic school students showed more self-control compared to others. They were more likely to be able to accept the ideas of others, handle peer pressure, keep their temper in check, and respect the property of others. This was true for both cohorts in the study, with the difference being smallest in kindergarten.

It’s worth noting that the focus on religion, including Judeo-Christian values such as perseverance, kindness, humility, obedience, and tolerance, is highlighted by Catholic schools.


Self-discipline is an important aspect of a person’s character fostered from an early age. Aside from home life, family relationships, and church, school also plays a key role in this. According to a study by Fordham University, Catholic school children have more self-control, are less disruptive, and have more self-discipline.

If you are interested in Catholic education for your child, St. Aloysius Regional School is here! We are a Catholic faith community with a focus on academic excellence and character building. Contact us today about classes for Pre-K all the way to 8th Grade!