Math and reading ability at age seven could be linked to better socioeconomic status when the child grows up, research that will be published in the journal Psychological Science has found. According to a press release, the findings suggest that a child's reading ability at age seven could even predict socioeconomic status more than associations with intelligence, education, and socioeconomic status during childhood.

Psychological scientists Stuart Ritchie and Timothy Bates of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland wanted to see if math and reading skills as a child had longer lasting results than just getting through their term in the classroom.

"We wanted to test whether being better at math or reading in childhood would be linked with a rise through the social ranks: a better job, better housing, and higher income as an adult," Ritchie and Bates said.

The researchers used data from the National Child Development Study, a study that started in 1958, following over 17,000 people throughout England, Scotland, and Wales, until the present day. It found that the child's reading and math skills at seven years old was indicative of how successful they would become. Those with the strongest skills grew up to have a higher income, better housing, and better jobs. Just being one reading level higher at seven years old meant having a £5,000 ($7,750) increase in income at age 42.

"These findings imply that basic childhood skills, independent of how smart you are, how long you stay in school, or the social class you started off in, will be important throughout your life," Ritchie and Bates said.