Chua and Rubenfeld identify three character traits –a sense of superiority, a feeling of inferiority/having something to prove and impulse control — that lead to academic success in the United States.  Traits, they believe, are linked at a macro level to cultural groups that are second generation immigrants.  Although they allude to psychological factors contributing to academic success and failure, it would be nice to study these traits more in depth and how they are transmitted -perhaps unconsciously- through the generations.   The unconscious transmission of the parent’s psychic life/internalized experiences, may be a significant factor in promoting or discouraging academic success in their children.   At a conscious level, I’ve yet to hear a parent say they don’t want their children to succeed academically.  However, parents do communicate unconsciously through the parental relationship that success is desirable or undesirable.

What Drives Success? – NYTimes.com.