Dec 26: A recent study published in the journal Science says that a child’s IQ depends on the quality of family environment he gets in the first two years of life being the most crucial.
The team of researchers includes Charles Nelson of Harvard Medical School, Charles Zeanah of Children's Hospital, Boston, Nathan A. Fox of Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Peter J. Marshall of University of Maryland, College Park, Anna T. Smyke of Temple University, Philadelphia, and Donald Guthrieof University of California, Los Angeles,
In a random study the researchers followed the abandoned children in Romanian Orphanage and compared abandoned children remaining there than to those moved to foster care.
The cognitive development of all the children was tracked through 54 months of age.
The result showed a marked difference in the IQ level of the two groups of the children, the cognitive development of children who remained in the institution was markedly below that of the children placed into foster care.
Interestingly the improved cognitive development was marked in children who were placed to foster care at much early age before 18 month.
It was also marked that there was a significant difference in the IQ level of children placed in foster care after and before 18 months. That is, IQ continues to decrease with the increase of age of abandoned children exposed to foster care increased.
This result points to the negative secondary consequences of early institutionalisation, suggesting a possible sensitive period of brain development in first two year of birth deciding a child’s intelligence.
Charles Nelson of Harvard University said, “What we're really talking about is the importance of getting kids out of bad environments and put into good environments.”
The younger that happens, “the less likely the child is to have major problems,” he added.
Significantly this result also highlights the importance of family placements for young abandoned children.
Satish MoonFebruary 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM
nirav a patelDecember 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM
anandDecember 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM