Socioeconomic Status And Genetic Influences On Cognitive Development Pdf

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Metrics details. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of family socioeconomic status SES and parental education on non-verbal IQ and on the processing of oral and written language, working memory, verbal memory and executive functions in children from different age ranges. A total of Brazilian children aged 6—12 years old, attending public and private schools from Porto Alegre, RS participated in the study.

Heritability of IQ

Metrics details. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of family socioeconomic status SES and parental education on non-verbal IQ and on the processing of oral and written language, working memory, verbal memory and executive functions in children from different age ranges. A total of Brazilian children aged 6—12 years old, attending public and private schools from Porto Alegre, RS participated in the study. SES had stronger effects on younger children up to nine years old , in most cognitive tasks examined.

Probably, after this age, a combination of factors such as schooling, living in other social environments, among others, may mitigate the effects of family socioeconomic status. It is usually assessed through indicators such as education, occupation and family income or a combination thereof Braveman et al.

Research in animals and humans show that early malnutrition, stress, lack of stimulation and poor social interaction can affect the structure and functioning of the brain, with long lasting cognitive and emotional effects Hackman et al.

Despite the large number of studies on psychosocial factors and their impacts on the performance of children of different ages in cognitive tasks, most of them use IQ or academic achievement measures Forns et al. In the present study, neuropsychological variables were added to traditional IQ evaluation, following recent studies that assess neuropsychological functions separately Noble and Farah ; Raizada and Kishiyama Family SES, especially during early childhood, seem to affect performance in some neuropsychological systems more than in others, particularly memory episodic, working and semantic , oral and written language and executive functions Hackman et al.

Such influence is more prominent at younger ages Tomalski et al. In the first years of childhood, the socioeconomic status is very important for children development, since it may limit the conditions for stimulation, access to materials and activities that favor cognitive development Forns et al.

About that neuropsychological functions development, the neural structures necessary for language processing are available in children from an early age and this skill is developed and strengthened from the experiences, social relations and communication interactions and is therefore a complex process Finkbeiner and Coltheart The acquisition of written language literacy occurs later in childhood, being an ongoing task, which is enriched with new skills as the individual develops and interacts with the environment.

In this sense, environmental aspects, both social and economic - as material resources -, and psychosocial - like mental health of parents and family relations - have been linked to academic performance and the development of language Marturano ; Noble et al. The executive functions have been defined as a set of skills that in an integrate manner, enable the individual to direct behaviors to goals, performing voluntary actions.

According to Diamond , the core executive functions are inhibition — response inhibition and interference control —, working memory and cognitive flexibility Diamond As Weyandt highlights, these definitions differ to the degree of emphasis placed either in process control, working memory, inhibition, or other components. There is a progressive development of inhibitory function and the prefrontal areas of the brain.

Thus, younger children are less efficient in inhibiting behavior than older children that will improve this ability with age Brocki and Bohlin Although working memory can be considered as a subcomponent of executive functions Blair et al. In its classic formulation, working memory consists of separate storage buffers for verbal and visuospatial content, as well as executive processes that act upon the information in the storage buffers Baddeley Besides the study of the influence of a socioeconomic index on the development of those cognitive functions, some authors have studied specific influences of family variables, such as parental education.

The educational level of parents, especially the mother Cesare et al. As Carneiro et al. It seems that more educated mothers are more likely to have better educated husbands, higher income, they are more likely to invest in books, special lessons and materials like computers for their children and those things could explain the maternal education impact in children cognitive development Carneiro et al.

In this study, one of the research questions is to investigate the specific role of parental education, as a separate variable of the SES, asking which SES variables actually impact in neuropsychological development. Although it has been demonstrated that better environmental conditions are associated with better performance in neuropsychological tasks Evans and Fuller-Rowell ; Noble and Farah , some studies found no differences associated to the socioeconomic status in the performance of executive functions inhibitory control Wiebe et al.

This lack of effect can be partly explained by sample performance homogeneity Wiebe et al. In Engel et al. Miranda et al. So, it seems the results from those Brazilian studies run into methodological obstacles that have produced biases in their research and hindered the analysis of their data.

In short, family SES in childhood seems to affect the general cognitive performance IQ but some neuropsychological systems more than in others, particularly memory episodic, working and semantic , oral and written language and executive functions Hackman et al. Starting from the importance of empirically investigate this issue and provide evidence to support prevention and intervention programs in child development, the aim of this study was to compare the effect of family SES and specifically parental education between age ranges regarding IQ performance, language oral and written , memory episodic, semantic and working and executive functions inhibitory components and cognitive flexibility, in particular in children from 6 to 12 years old.

The hypothesis was that the relationship between low socioeconomic status including low parental education and lower performance in IQ and in the assessed tasks Ardila et al. This study intends to give a better comprehension about this issue in Brazil, providing evidences from a large sample, using classical measures of SES and neuropsychological tasks based on traditional paradigms besides IQ measures , with robust statistical analysis, that could be the basis for rethinking public policies that promote child development.

This is a quantitative, descriptive-explanatory study. The dependent variables are IQ and performance in tasks that assess language, verbal memory, working memory and executive functions. The independent variables are children age, parental education and family socioeconomic status according to a survey of the Brazilian Association of Research Companies - ABEP , an index combining parental education and income that characterizes the family socioeconomic status.

A total of Brazilian children selected by convenience sampling, The children, without grade repetition, monolinguals basic English classes in their schools and native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese, with no history of neurological or psychiatric illnesses, uncorrected auditory and visual impairments, according to a questionnaire completed by the parents, belonged to families of SES A No performance differences were found on the cognitive tasks evaluated in this study in children aged 6—7 years old, 8—9 years old and 10, 11 and 12 years old.

We then decided to split the sample in these three age ranges. According to a study of Brito , the cutoff point suggested for the Brazilian population is a performance above the 90 th percentile. We only evaluate children who fit the inclusion criteria. No child was excluded after cognitive assessment.

The schools were selected by convenience sampling and the names of the students from each grade were randomly selected draw. The following memory tasks were used for this study: digit span forward and backward maximum score: 28 points , pseudoword span maximum score: 20 points , visuospatial working memory similar to Corsi Blocks, but on 2 D, maximum score: 28 points , immediate recall of a list of nine words, immediate recall of nine figures showed to children visuoverbal episodic memory and semantic memory 4 general knowledge questions — 1 point each.

For assessment of language: rhyme task children had to say which words rhyme, total score of 4 points , phonemic subtraction take off one phoneme of a composite three-letter syllable, total score of 6 points , listening comprehension 5 points , inferential processing total score of 8 points , reading aloud 17 points , reading comprehension total score of 5 points , spelling total score of 19 points , spontaneous writing and written copies of words.

First, the construction of measurement models will be described, and finally, the structural model. The indexes of adjustments of models are presented according to Byrne The following tasks were used: rhyme, phonemic subtraction, reading words and pseudowords, spontaneous writing and reading comprehension as indicators of the latent variable oral and written language.

The tasks digit span forward and backward , pseudoword span and visuospatial working memory composed the latent variable working memory. The go-no go task and the orthographic and semantic verbal fluency tasks were used as indicators of the latent variable executive functions inhibitory control component. The latent variable verbal memory was composed of the following tasks: semantic memory, episodic memory immediate recall and visuoverbal episodic memory.

Once the literature has affirmed that there are differences in the contribution of SES to the different ages, we made the structural models by age range 6—7, 8—9, 10— The estimated coefficients are reported in Fig. The estimated coefficients are reported in Figs. The results show a moderate effect of SES and specifically parental education mainly maternal education on the performance in memory working memory , language and executive functions, especially for younger children from 6 to 12 years old.

The children with lower SES had lower performance regarding IQ, verbal episodic and semantic memory, working memory, written language, visuoverbal memory and inhibitory control tasks than those with higher SES. The findings of the present study are consistent with those from other studies that have demonstrated the contribution of SES to cognitive performance at different age ranges, especially in younger children Blair et al.

In fact, the magnitude of the relationship between SES and the identified factors were similar to other studies conducted in other contexts, like US and Canada Lupien et al. In the early years of childhood until school age, the socioeconomic status is a major factor since it may limit the conditions of the environment, what impacts on stimulation, access to materials and activities that favor cognitive development, presence of parents or caregivers and willingness to engage in activities with the child Forns et al.

Cognition, in general, and more specifically, memory, language and executive functions, seem to be more affected by the socioeconomic environment, due to its prolonged development — at a neuroanatomical level —, which may lead to increased susceptibility to environmental differences Noble et al.

Besides, SES is strongly related to other environmental aspects such as maternal depression and the amount of time spent by parents in activities with their children Piccolo et al. Our results showed that SES effects on cognition decline after nine years old. Lupien et al. In this case, the neuropsychological performance would be influenced by social interactions with peers and teachers at school.

In this perspective, the school system — that supposedly give the same resources for all students — and living in other spaces with another people, associated to children character as resilience , could equalize the performance of children from different socioeconomic contexts.

This characteristic would be associated with reduced physiological risk in low childhood SES individuals, helping them to deal with risks environments Chen et al. In the present study, both the SES and specifically parental education showed independent effects, on IQ. The greatest effects were observed in younger children up to nine years old. Studies of twins and adopted children provide evidence that genetic and environmental factors impact on general intelligence g factor and that a substantial part of the variation of cognitive ability in adulthood is explained by genetic variations Blair A model proposed by Eaves et al.

The continuity of cognitive performance over time and the increase in heritability with age reflect the cumulative long-term effects of a single set of genes expressed throughout development.

The quality of the shared environment changes from family to family over time appears to exercise a long-term effect on cognitive development Eaves et al. The acquisition of written language continuously improved with new skills, as the individual grows and it is totally dependent of the interactions with the environment Finkbeiner and Coltheart that provides stimuli and experiences that are essential for this development as a primary means of social interaction Kim ; Peeters et al.

Low SES children are more likely to reside in an environment that exhibits sharply lower attainment levels and, in addition, that repeatedly manifests higher rates of crime, divorce, unemployment, and population density than high SES children. On the other hand, parents with high educational level tend to have substantially better educated spouses and higher family income.

Also, they are more likely to invest in their children through books, providing special lessons, or availability of a computer, for example Carneiro et al. That exposure to written material is essential for language development Marturano and there is evidence that children whose parents read to them when they are very young are more prepared for the development of reading when they enter school due to their early contact with books Duursma et al.

Moreover, some aspects of phonological awareness, one of the best predictors of proficient reading Foy and Mann , depend on exposure to reading and home literacy Kim ; Foy and Mann , which also affects word recognition Peeters et al. Mothers with higher educational level seem to be more likely to read frequently to their children than mothers with lower levels of education Kuo et al.

It was showed that SES has an effect on memory. Dynamic models of multiple components, such as the sociocultural theory Nelson and Fivush , explains that memory development occurs through social interaction and cognitive development over the years.

In the present study, children from socioeconomically disadvantaged households had poorer performance than those with high SES, especially until nine years old. According to Gathercole , the basic structure of the working memory is formed at the age of six years, but the capacity of each component increases until adolescence. The main change that occurs during the development of working memory is the increase in the operational efficiency and speed of information processing, as well as greater use of strategies in problem solving, skills that are influenced by the experiences of children in the family environment Diamond and Lee ; Gathercole and Baddeley Regarding the visuospatial component of the working memory, in those cases where visuospatial processing is very complex, the central executive component is triggered to assist in solving the task Gathercole and Baddeley In turn, these skills are influenced by the experiences of children in the family environment — opportunities to perform tasks and demands of the environment that require the use of strategies to memorize information, for example — at school, and, thus, from the SES Nelson and Fivush In the present study, a significant contribution of the SES and parental education especially maternal to the latent variable executive functions was detected.

The inhibitory control assessed by go-no go tasks for example occurs late in childhood. At 10 years of age, the ability to inhibit attention to irrelevant stimuli and motor responses is fairly complete, being usually mastered at the age of 12 Romine and Reynolds In agreement with this assumption, in this study, it was found that only between 10 and 12 years, the difference in the go- no go task regarding SES was significant, and low SES children performing poorer in this task compared to those from higher SES.

Models that include environmental, biological and cognitive factors try to explain the development of executive functions Blair and Ursache ; Stuss They integrate the results of empirical research on the physiology of stress, neurocognitive functions and self-regulation and consider the adaptive processes response to adversity of the environment as an aspect of development of the child Blair and Raver For example, Stuss propose a model with three hierarchical levels of processing: sensory-perceptual, executive control and self-reflexivity metacognition , that interacting with the external environment and are mediated by the frontal lobes.

The levels are interrelated and depend on the maturity of primary to higher processes functioning. So, living in an adverse environment could impair the development of primaries levels and it would impact in the development of superior levels Stuss

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence

Here, we systematically explore the association between SES and brain anatomy through MRI in a group of 23 healthy year-old children with a wide range of parental SES. We confirm behaviorally that language is one of the cognitive domains most affected by SES. A lower SES is associated with smaller volumes of gray matter in bilateral hippocampi, middle temporal gyri, left fusiform and right inferior occipito-temporal gyri, according to both volume- and surface-based morphometry. Moreover, we identify local gyrification effects in anterior frontal regions, supportive of a potential developmental lag in lower SES children. In contrast, we found no significant association between SES and white matter architecture. These findings point to the potential neural mediators of the link between unfavourable environmental conditions and cognitive skills.

Childhood socioeconomic status cSES is found to predict later-life cognitive abilities, yet the mechanisms underlying these associations remain unclear. The objective of this longitudinal study was to examine the direct and indirect paths through which cSES influences late midlife cognitive outcomes. At mean ages 20 and 62, participants completed a standardized test for general cognitive ability GCA. The age 62 cognitive assessment also included in-person tests of processing speed, episodic memory, abstract reasoning, working memory, verbal fluency, visual-spatial ability, and executive functions. Multiple mediation analyses were conducted to examine the direct path effects and indirect path effects of cSES through age 20 GCA, adult SES, and cognitive leisure activities on seven cognitive outcomes at age 62, adjusting for age, ethnicity, and non-independence of observations.

Socioeconomic status and genetic influences on cognitive development

Research on the heritability of IQ inquires into the proportion of variance in IQ that is attributable to genetic variation within a population. The heritability of IQ increases with age and reaches an asymptote at 18—20 years of age and continues at that level well into adulthood. However, poor prenatal environment, malnutrition and disease are known to have lifelong deleterious effects.

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What role do genetic and environmental influences play in determining intelligence? This question has been one of the most controversial topics throughout the history of psychology and remains a hot topic of debate to this day. In addition to disagreements about the basic nature of intelligence, psychologists have spent a great amount of time and energy debating the various influences on individual intelligence. The debate focuses on one of the major questions in psychology: Which is more important— nature or nurture? Today, psychologists recognize that both genetics and the environment play a role in determining intelligence.

Genetics and Learning: How the Genes Influence Educational Attainment

Neurology & Stroke

To address this issue, we developed an internet-based paired-associates learning PAL task and tested 59, participants between the ages of 18— FH was associated with lower PAL performance in both sexes under 65 years old. Here we show, FH is associated with reduced PAL performance four decades before the typical onset of AD; additionally, several heritable and non-heritable modifiers of this effect were identified.

Regret for the inconvenience: we are taking measures to prevent fraudulent form submissions by extractors and page crawlers. O, Kochi — , Kerala, India, Tel Received: April 24, Published: August 25, J Neurol Stroke 1 4 : DOI: Download PDF. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.

Distribution of cognitive A and motor B scores at age 4. Bars indicate the distribution of the studied variable for the whole cohort. Lines indicate the distribution of the studied variable by maternal level of education. Regression Model Obtained for the 4. Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.


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The brain is the organ of thought. The word thought is defined as the act of thinking about or considering something: an idea or opinion, or a set of ideas about a particular subject. It implicitly includes the processes of learning. Mental functions, including most if not all aspects of human behavior, such as those related to learning, arise from the activity of the brain. Neural connections that generate and support mental functions are formed throughout life, which enables lifelong learning of new concepts and skills.

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2 Comments

  1. Nativenorwegian 30.03.2021 at 03:38

    Article; Figures & SI; Info & Metrics; PDF We found no evidence of SES moderation of genetic influence on test scores, That genes and environments combine to influence cognitive development is broadly recognized, yet.

  2. MustafГЎ Z. 03.04.2021 at 23:56

    and genetic influences on cognitive development We found no evidence of SES moderation of genetic influence on test scores, suggesting.