Posts Tagged ‘ intelligence scores ’

Your Home Environment CAN Increase a Child’s Intelligence

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Girl studentDoes nature or nurture influence how smart a child will be? Although genetics does influence intelligence, new research also suggests that children who are nurtured  in the most ideal environments tend to have greater intelligence.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, compared the cognitive ability of 436 male sibling pairs in Sweden, one of which was brought up by biological parents and the other by adoptive parents. The IQ of each sibling was measured between the ages of 18 and 20, and each parent’s education level was also rated on a five-point scale (though the study did not distinguish intelligence between the parents).

Researchers found that the IQ of siblings raised by their biological, and typically less-educated, parents were 4.4 points lower than siblings who had been adopted into higher-educated and more financially-secure families.

“The adoptive parents tended to be more educated and in better socioeconomic circumstances than the biological parents,” reports PsychCentral. But when biological parents were more educated, the raised sibling actually had a higher IQ.

Biological and adoptive parents aside though, the home environment was actually the most important reason for smarter kids. Some likely reasons: educated parents are more inclined to have interactive discussions during meals, to take their children to museums, and to read aloud to their children.

However, there is evidence from past studies that may dispute these recent findings. In particular, a 2014 study analyzed parental behaviors and verbal intelligence found that IQ may not actually be the result of parental socialization. Despite this, Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., one of the study’s joint first authors said, “We’re not denying that cognitive ability has important genetic components, but it is a naïve idea to say that it is only genes.”

Determined to boost your child’s intelligence as much as possible? There is recent evidence that breastfeeding your child for at least 12 months could increase their IQ by as much as four points. And another new study affirms that making sure your child has enough schooling — and academic challenges — can also help develop smart kids.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Income's Impact on Education
Income's Impact on Education
Income's Impact on Education

Image: Girl student via Shutterstock

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Can You Make Your Kid Smarter? A New Study Says…

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Study Says Genetics Main influencer in Child IQIt’s in the genes, according to a new study published in the journal Intelligence.

Professors from several universities including Florida State University and the University of Nebraska sought out to answer a common nature-versus-nurture question: “Can parents make their kids smarter?”

They found that when it comes to a child’s intelligence in adulthood, genetics—not parental socialization—is key.

Florida State 24/7 reports:

…examined a nationally representative sample of youth alongside a sample of adopted children from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and found evidence to support the argument that IQ is not the result of parental socialization.

The study analyzed parenting behaviors and whether they had an effect on verbal intelligence as measured by the Picture Vocabulary Test (PVT). The IQ tests were administered to middle and high school students, and again when they were between the ages of 18 and 26.

“Previous research that has detected parenting-related behaviors affect intelligence is perhaps incorrect because it hasn’t taken into account genetic transmission,” study author Kevin Beaver told Florida State 24/7. “In previous research, it looks as though parenting is having an effect on child intelligence, but in reality the parents who are more intelligent are doing these things and it is masking the genetic transformation of intelligence to their children.”

But don’t stop the bedtime stories and dinner-table discussions just yet. While this study says IQ may not be affected by these activities, there’s certainly another benefit to them: invaluable parent-child bonding.

For more information on reading with your child, check out our age-by-age guide to reading to babies and 7 ways to encourage a love of reading here.  

What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)
What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)
What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)

Photo of mom reading with kids courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Children’s Drawings Linked to Higher Intelligence Later in Life

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Children's Drawings Linked to Higher IntelligenceIf you’ve ever walked into a room in your home only to discover a crayon-created “masterpiece” on the wall, perhaps that portrait your preschooler left behind is really a blessing in disguise.

The way 4-year-olds draw pictures can be an indicator of their intelligence at 14, according to a recent study out of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London. Researchers have found moderate associations linking the amount of detail 4-year-olds included in pictures they were asked to draw of another child to higher scores on verbal intelligence tests at age 14.

They determined this by accounting for the amount of detail that was included in the figure—the more comprehensive their picture (including facial features, hair, two legs, two arms etc.), the higher their intelligence score was later in life. The study is based off of an assessment developed in the 1920s called the “Draw-a-Child” test that was used to examine a child’s intelligence level at his current age.

But if your little one isn’t a budding Matisse, there’s no reason to panic. “The correlation is moderate, so our findings are interesting, but it does not mean that parents should worry if their child draws badly,” said Dr. Rosalind Arden, the study’s lead author. “Drawing ability does not determine intelligence, there are countless factors, both genetic and environmental, which affect intelligence in later life.”

You can learn how to decode your child’s drawings, or try out some other simple crafts with your kids. And if you really can’t keep them (and their art supplies) off your walls, consider this cool wallpaper that’s actually meant to be colored on!

Activity Tips: Drawing
Activity Tips: Drawing
Activity Tips: Drawing

Photo of boy coloring courtesy of Shutterstock.

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