The academic level of the mother and the work of the father weigh more in the cognitive development

the higher the socioeconomic level of the parents, the more cognitive development of children. Much scientific literature supports this claim, always speaking o

The academic level of the mother and the work of the father weigh more in the cognitive development

the higher the socioeconomic level of the parents, the more cognitive development of children. Much scientific literature supports this claim, always speaking of averages, not specific cases. What has not been addressed much is how it affects the status of the father and the mother, separately. Is the study a group of researchers has published in the journal Gaceta Sanitaria, with a conclusion quite clear: while studies of the mother weigh significantly in the development of the child, in the case of the parents play the leading role, takes their social class.

The researchers studied three social determinants whose influence on the cognitive development are well documented: income, employment status and educational level. The limited economic resources of households, indicate, influence the low investment in education, the worse quality in housing and neighborhoods with fewer community services. The type of employment of the parents can cause stress and family relationships more problematic. And the academic level of the parents tends to reflect their ability to solve problems.

In the study, which was attended by 525 children of five and six years, it was found that these three factors weighed 10% on the cognitive development of children, assessed by standardized tests that measure their psycho-motor skills, verbal ability or executive functions. Of all the factors, they found that there were was significantly related to the type of occupation of the father, the academic level of the mother, her age (in the intermediate ages had more cognitive development than the average in older and younger) and their intelligence. Also there was correlation with the size gestational: the smaller had worse scores. The researchers also measured the use of some toxic substances during pregnancy, of which the most I weighed was tobacco in the mothers during the first trimester.

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Llùcia Gonzalez, one of the researchers, explains that the findings may have several explanations: “In the case of the social class [which in the study is determined by the work of the parent] in the case of men, tends to be more stable, because there are fewer entries and exits of the labour market and mothers have more tendency to quit his job to devote himself to the upbringing. The study considered the hypothesis that parents often provide material goods while the endowments of the mother are based on their own academic achievement. In addition, it seems that education plays different roles: the education of the mother is relevant for academic achievement in the early years of the child, while the father is more important in youth.

Brain plastic

Mario Fernandez, a neuroscientist at the Autonomous University of Madrid, explains that a child's brain is “very plastic”, that is to say, very sensitive to the conditions of the environment, for good and for bad. “Therefore, the relationship with parents is crucial for the proper development of cognitive abilities,” he says. “On the other hand, intelligence has a genetic component: the adopted children have an intellectual level more similar to biological parents than to the host. Although it is true that it is easier for a child with parent college go to the university. That is to say, the students of the colegio del Pilar have an index much greater of graduates who are students of a school of Villaverde (south of Madrid)”. This last, the researcher explains, has to do with the environment, the socioeconomic level of the parents and the social class. “The interaction between all the variables is complex. The study shows this correlation between the cognitive development of parents and children in a positive way”, he concludes.

Llùcia Gonzalez emphasizes the need for an awareness of these problems at the political level, because “it is there where you can promote measures that the palíen”. “It is not simple to research in inequalities in health: often perceive social conditions as static and the more structural, and thus more hardly modifiable,” he reflects.

Updated Date: 18 January 2020, 04:00

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