THURSDAY, Jan. 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- If your children are well-behaved, do they stand a greater chance of having healthy, happy lives as adults?

A new study says yes.

After tracking just over 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to the age of 45, investigators found that kids who were goal-oriented and better able to restrain their thoughts, behavior and emotions turned out to have healthier bodies and brains by the time they hit middle age.

"We found that as adults, at age 45, children with better self-control aged more slowly," said study author Leah Richmond-Rakerd, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. "Their bodies and brains were healthier and biologically younger. We also found that they had developed more health, financial and social reserves for old age."

Why? Richmond-Rakerd said her team thinks it has to do with having "better emotional regulation to deal with life. They plan better so that they experience fewer crises and challenges. And their response to challenges is more measured and thoughtful when crises do arise."

Read the full article at U.S. News.