4 Ways Parents Can Boost Children’s IQ

The right methods can help boost children’s IQ.

The right methods can help boost children’s IQ.

Parents can boost their children’s IQ, psychological research finds, as long as they use tried and tested methods.

After examining almost every available intervention, Dr John Protzko and colleagues found that just four had a real chance of working:

  1. Omega-3 supplementation,
  2. reading to children interactively,
  3. enrolling children in early educational interventions,
  4. and sending children to a quality preschool.

The results come from a meta-analysis, a type of study that collects together the results of many other studies.

In doing so, the researchers created a “Database of Raising Intelligence”.

Dr John Protzko, the study’s first author, explained:

“Our aim in creating this database is to learn what works and what doesn’t work to raise people’s intelligence.

For too long, findings have been disconnected and scattered throughout a wide variety of journals.

The broad consensus about what works is founded on only two or three very high-profile studies.”

Supplementation with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, like those in foods rich in omega-3, was linked to an IQ boost of 3.5 points, on average.

Preschools were linked to an increase of 7 IQ points.

They may boost IQ by providing the child with a cognitively stimulating environment.

In addition, it could be the extra exposure to language that provides the boost.

Dr Protzko said:

“Our current findings strengthen earlier conclusions that complex environments build intelligence, but do cast doubt on others, including evidence that earlier interventions are always most effective.

Overall, identifying the link between essential fatty acids and intelligence gives rise to tantalizing new questions for future research and we look forward to exploring this finding.”

Teaching parents how to read interactively with their children was linked to a 6 point IQ increase.

This is likely from the boost to language development.

The study was published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science (Protzko et al., 2013).

Author: Dr Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004.

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