Baby names can have negative impact - study

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

Prospective parents, beware - what you name your baby could negatively affect their future.

"Name your kids what you love, but be aware there are consequences," David Figlio, an economics and education professor at Northwestern University, told Time.

Figlio found that, across all races and ethnicities, there are certain letter combinations that are more likely to be given by high school dropouts, for example, than mothers who have completed school.

Among caucasian families, Alexandra may be spelled Alekzandra; the "kz" combination is almost never seen in middle-class families. For African Americans, it may mean use of the prefix "Sha" rather than the more highly regarded "La."

Teachers treat children with "linguistically low-status" names differently to their peers - they are more likely to be referred for special education, less likely to be recognized as gifted and they perform poorer on tests, according to America's National Bureau of Economic Research.

Names may even effect children's career paths. When Figlio studied sisters who were both good at maths, he found that those with more linguistically feminine names were more likely to shy away from maths and science and stick with humanities classes compared to their siblings with linguistically androgynous names.

And Figlio warns against giving your son a girlie-sounding name: according to Figlio's 2006 study in Education Finance and Policy, boys with names such as Ashley, Shannon, Jamie and Courtney tend to have more behaviour problems at intermediate school.

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