herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Twin study shows how reading can boost IQ

Early skills in reading may boost intelligence scores in later childhood, a study has shown.

Researchers who examined reading and intelligence test scores for identical twins found differences in reading ability between twins were linked to later differences in intelligence scores.

Reading was not only associated with verbal intelligence such as vocabulary tests, but with scores for non verbal intelligence such as reasoning tests.

The study by Edinburgh University and King's College, London looked at 1,890 identical twins.

Tests

The research examined scores from tests of reading and intelligence taken when the twins were seven, nine, 10, 12, and 16 years old.

The differences in reading skills that were linked to differences in later intelligence were tracked back to as early as seven years old.

The study authors said the findings could help explain why children from one family may score differently on intelligence tests, despite sharing the same genes, background and educational opportunities as the rest of their family.

Stuart Ritchie, research fellow in psychology at Edinburgh University, said the findings backed the case for early intervention for children who are slow to pick up reading.

"Since reading is an ability that can be improved, our findings have implications for reading instruction," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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