How to Increase Your Child's Intelligence

A new meta-study out of NYU, which asks whether parents can directly increase their children's IQ, has found that not all accepted methods of boosting intelligence are effective.

What's the Latest Development?


A new meta-study out of New York University, which reviewed previous studies on whether parents could directly increase their children's IQ, has found that not all accepted methods of boosting intelligence are effective: "When it comes to nutrition, there's not much evidence that multivitamins do any good, but having pregnant and lactating moms and young kids take Omega-3 fatty acid supplements (particularly DHA) likely does. Just having books in the home might not help, but interactive reading with children under 4 could boost IQ by around 6 points."

What's the Big Idea?

Questions as to whether parental factors, such as the presence of a loving and supportive learning environment, increases intelligence were outside the scope of the study, which reviewed only randomized controlled trials, typically considered the gold standard for making causal claims about the efficacy of medical or educational interventions. "One would have to randomly assign children to parents who are or aren't loving and supportive; to households that are or aren't stable." In general, the study's results suggest that engaged parenting and early preschool can help erase intelligence gaps that correspond to economic inequalities. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at NPR

Related Articles

Why the world needs death to prosper

Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
  • After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
  • Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
Keep reading Show less

Why birds fly south for the winter—and more about bird migration

What do we see from watching birds move across the country?

E. Fleischer
Surprising Science
  • A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
  • The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
  • Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Keep reading Show less

How does alcohol affect your brain?

Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.

(Photo by Angie Garrett/Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
  • Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
Keep reading Show less