As if the Coronavirus pandemic has not caused enough significant stress for parents, a new U.S. study is about to add more. The study has found that children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born before the pandemic. Overall, the study has concluded that children born during the pandemic have lower IQ’s.
For the study, researchers analyzed the cognitive performances of 672 children born in Rhode Island. One hundred and eighty eight of the children were born after July 2020, 308 born before it, (prior to January 2019), and 176 of them born during its beginning stages of the pandemic, (between January 2019 and March 2020).
According to the Guardian article and the study analysis, in the decade preceding the pandemic, the mean IQ score on standardized tests for children aged between three months and three years of age hovered around 100, but for children born during the pandemic that number tumbled to 78.
“It’s not subtle by any stretch,” lead study author and Brown University associate professor of pediatric research Sean Deoni told the Guardian of the trend in an interview. “You don’t typically see things like that, outside of major cognitive disorders.”
The researchers and authors of the study attribute the pattern of children being cognitively impaired from spending so much time inside with overwhelmed parents during 2020. While many adults made it through it, the isolation at a critical point in mental development for infants will likely caused lasting damage.
“Parents are stressed and frazzled … that interaction the child would normally get has decreased substantially,” said Deoni, adding that the lack of stimulation during the pandemic has created setbacks that will be hard for children to overcome. “The ability to course-correct becomes smaller the older that child gets.”
Researchers also noted that lower income families have been impacted the most.
“Perhaps not surprising that children from lower socioeconomic families have been most affected as this resonates with many of the other financial, employment and health impacts of the pandemic,” University College London child health professor Sir Terence Stephenson told the Guardian in the same interview.
This current study has yet to be peer-reviewed.
Sound-off and comment below. Do you think that this new research study has merit or is is simply way off base? We want to hear from you!