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

It'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.

...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.  

When it comes to school, it can be difficult to find the right role as a parent. Here are some things you don't have to worry about doing.

Photo of mom reading with kids courtesy of Shutterstock.

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