Diet, Parental Behavior and Preschool Can Boost Children's IQ

Supplementing children's diets with fish oil, enrolling them in quality preschool, and engaging them in interactive reading all turn out to be effective ways to raise a young child's intelligence, according to a new report published in Perspectives on Psychological Science...

Using ... meta-analysis, a team ... at ...NYU ... combined the findings from existing studies... ... analyzed the best available studies involving samples of children from birth and kindergarten from their newly assembled "Database of Raising Intelligence."

Supplementing pregnant women and newborns with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, foods rich in Omega-3, were found to boost children's IQ by more than 3.5 points. These essential fatty acids may help raise intelligence by providing the building blocks for nerve cell development that the body cannot produce on its own.

There is insufficient research, however, to determine whether other types of supplements -- including iron, B-complex vitamins, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and zinc -- have beneficial effects on intelligence.

Enrolling an economically disadvantaged child into an early education intervention was found to raise his or her IQ by more than four points; interventions that specifically included a center-based education component raised a child's IQ by more than seven points.

Surprisingly, Protzko, Aronson, and Blair found no evidence to support the idea that early education interventions that take place earlier in childhood are more effective than those that begin later.

Interventions focused on interactive reading -- teaching parents how to engage their children while reading with them -- were found to raise children's IQ by over 6 points. These interventions do not seem to have an effect for children over 4 years old, suggesting that the interventions may accelerate language development, which, in turn, boosts IQ.

Sending a child to preschool was found to raise his or her IQ by more than four points, and preschools that include a language development component were found to boost IQ by more than seven points. [emphasis mine]

Tags: raising child's IQ

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