Study: Children born during pandemic have lower IQs

A United Nations based study has claimed that, Children born during Covid-19 pandemic have reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance as compared to those born pre-pandemic.

Key findings

  • According to the study, males and children in lower socioeconomic families have been most affected due to pandemic.
  • It also notes that, even in the absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, environmental changes are negatively affecting infant and child development. However, it is yet to be peer-reviewed.
  • Pre-pandemic, the mean IQ score on standardised tests was found to be around 100 for children aged between three months and three years. IQ score reduced to 78 among children born during the pandemic.

What are the causes of reduced score?

  • According to the researchers, biggest reason behind this reducing score is lack of stimulation and interaction at home.
  • For parents who were working from home and did not face furlough or employment loss, the dual role of childcare and work increased the strain on parents. This resulted into increased parental stress and anxiety.
  • For parents who have suffered job loss, they also experienced a greater stress, depression, anxiety besides food and housing insecurity.

How long impairments will last?

Data from the study did not clarify if impairments are temporary or will normalise after employment and school closures are lifted and the life return to pre-pandemic levels of play and interaction.

How study was conducted?

Study was held on 672 children from state of Rhode Island. Out of them, 188 were born after July 2020 while 308 were born before January 2019. 176 were born in between January 2019 and March 2020. Children, on which study was conducted, were born full-term and they had no developmental disabilities.

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