Children born during pandemic have lower IQs, US study finds

A US study has shown that children born during the coronavirus epidemic have significantly lower verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance than those born before.For cognitive development, the first years of a child's life are crucial. Covid-19 caused the closure of many businesses, schools, and nurseries. This resulted in infants' lives being drastically altered. Parents were stressed and stretched trying to manage work and childcare.According to Sean Deoni (an associate professor of paediatrics at Brown University), children in the pandemic era seem to have performed shockingly poorly on cognitive development tests that assess their home stimulation and interaction with the outside world.The mean IQ score of children between the ages of three and three years was around 100 in the decade before the pandemic. However, it dropped to 78 for those born during the epidemic, according to an analysis that is still being peer-reviewed.Deoni said that it is not subtle at all. You don't usually see such things unless you have major cognitive disorders.The study involved 672 Rhode Island children. These included 188 children born after July 2020, 308 born before January 2019, and 176 born between January 2019 to March 2020. The study included children who were full-term born, did not have developmental disabilities, and were mostly white.Researchers found that those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds performed worse during the tests.Deoni said that the main reason for falling scores is probably the lack of stimulation at home and interaction. The lack of interaction between parents and their children has led to parents feeling stressed and frazzled.It is not clear if these lower cognitive scores will have any long-term effects. Deoni stated that the foundations of cognition are laid in the early years of life. It is much easier to add or modify rooms and flourishes while you're building the foundation. As a child grows older, the ability to correct course becomes less important.He said that this data is derived from an area of the US with high levels of social support and generous unemployment benefits. However, there are concerns about what could happen in the poorer areas of the country and around the world.Sir Terence Stephenson is a Nuffield professor in child health at University College London. He said that the research was fascinating because so much has been written about school-age children's education, but very little has been published on infants.He said that the main factor responsible for these low scores in infants was likely stress in parents, who had to work and provide full-time attentive care. It is not surprising that children of lower socioeconomic backgrounds have been the most affected by the pandemic. This resonates with many other economic, employment, and health effects.