Study Finds Children Of Abused Moms More Likely To Have Lower IQ

As the years go by, more and more search is being done in the field with abuse victims and the outcome of years of abuse. We have found that children of abuse are more likely to engage in criminal behavior as teens, and now, a new study has found that children of women who have suffered abuse have a lower IQ.

The study was conducted by University of Manchester epidemiologists and took two key things away from their research: 13% of children whose mothers did not experience domestic violence had an IQ of below 90 at 8 years of age, while children of mother's who experienced physical violence from their partner either in pregnancy or during the first six years of the child's life, the figure rises to 22.8%. Taking things further, the chance of a low IQ rises to 34.6% if the mother was repeatedly exposed to domestic violence.

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Sometimes, all you can say is "wow."

How exactly do these numbers add up? Well, low IQ is defined as an IQ score less than 90, where a normal IQ is considered to be 100. So measuring their findings against that data is very telling.

This study was lead by led by Dr Kathryn Abel from The University of Manchester, who shared that, "We already know that 1 in 4 women age 16 and over in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and that their children are at greater risk of physical, social and behavioral problems. We also know that intelligence in childhood is strongly linked with doing well in adulthood, though there has been little evidence about the risk of low IQ for these children."

Row of successful learners looking at camera outside
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"While we cannot conclude that IPV causes low IQ, these findings demonstrate domestic violence has a measurable link, by mid-childhood, independent of other risk factors for low IQ."

This particular study looked at the link between domestic violence -- also called Intimate partner violence (IPV) -- and child intelligence at 8 year's old. They used 3,997 mother child pairs from The University of Bristol's Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to conduct their research. They followed the children from pregnancy, measuring emotional and physical domestic violence, IPV, until eight years of age, using the Weschler standardized IQ test to measure their intelligence.

17.6% of the mothers in the study reported emotional violence and 6.8% reported physical violence.

There are obviously other factors that can play a role in these types of situations such as alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, however having this information will help doctors hone in on better and earlier intervention that is necessary for children at a younger age.

Dr Hein Heuvelman, from The University of Bristol added: "Exposure to domestic violence is common for children in the UK and an important and often overlooked risk factor in their life chances. Current support for women experiencing domestic violence is inadequate in some areas and absent in others. Early intervention with these families protects children from harm, but it may also prioritizes their future development."

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