Early reading skill benefits IQ later


A new research carried out in the UK claims that strong early reading skill may positively affect intellectual abilities in later life.

The researchers at the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London examined 1890 identical twins for the study.

While identical twins share all their genes and a home environment, appearance of any differences can easily be traced.

Researchers examined scores from tests of reading and intelligence taken when the twins were 7, 9, 10, 12, and 16.

As each pair of the twins was identical, any differences between them had to be because of experiences that the twins did not share, such as a particularly effective teacher or a group of friends that encouraged reading.

Study reveals the effect of earlier differences in reading skill between the twins on their later differences in intelligence.

“Early remediation of reading problems might aid not only the growth of literacy, but also more general cognitive abilities that are of critical importance across the lifespan,” said the study leader Stuart J. Ritchie, research fellow in psychology at the University of Edinburgh.

Reading was associated not only with measures of verbal intelligence (such as vocabulary tests) but with measures of nonverbal intelligence as well (such as reasoning tests), researchers say.

“Children who don’t receive enough assistance in learning to read may also be missing out on the important, intelligence-boosting properties of literacy,” Ritchie expressed.

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