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Birth Size and IQ - Page 3

post #41 of 91
I found this article, that doesn't need a password:
Grey matter of baby size carried into later life first sentence in this article:
Quote:
When it comes to babies big really is better, according to research that links high birth weight to an elevated IQ in later life.
(emphasis mine) It doesn't cite the source for it's information, just
Quote:
Researchers from Britain and Queensland tracked 470 children from birth to adolescence, recording birth weight and IQ scores in tests at ages five and 14.
oh, wait, it does list a co-author of the study... I'm getting closer to finding the study itself...
post #42 of 91
I really don't think it matters all that much or plays that big of a part. My husband was 9.5lbs and was formula fed, he has a genius level IQ. My son, the one we adopted, was born 3+ weeks early, weighted 6.5lbs and was mostly formula fed -- he too has a genius level IQ and is developmentally and conginitively way above his peers.
I know far to many people who were small babes and given formula (or worse) and they are often the brightest in the bunch.
post #43 of 91
Correlation does not indicate causation.

Statistics describe populations, not individuals.

If you go to news.google.com and type in "high birth weight IQ", you'll find stories about this recent research.

It's also been shown that birth order impacts IQ, and each subsequent child will be a few points lower. On average, again. Personal anecdotes really mean nothing when you're talking about this small of a difference, and this large of a population.

Dar
post #44 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmer mama
Sorry this seems to have offended you. The modest connection between birthweight and IQ just seems to point to good nutrition = good brain development, and poor nutrition may lead to less optimal brain development. I think in light of genetics and body size it is realistic that many small babies may have great maternal nutrition, and I am sure some geniuses may come from malnourished moms. All it means is that maternal nutrition is important.
That's what I was thinking. After all, teenage moms tend to have low birthweight babies because of bad nutrition. It makes sense that it would affect the brain somehow. But just because a person was born low birth weight doesn't necessarily mean it was a result of bad nutrition, but we're talking about generalities. (I was 4lb 11oz, so I don't think small babies turn out dumb, please don't get that impression.)
post #45 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by stafl
It has been repeatedly shown that IQ tests are skewed in favor of a particular segment of the population, and that they measure how well you take the test rather than how intelligent you are. IQ means nothing, unless you take into consideration lots of other factors. The same people who are more likely to score higher on the IQ tests are genetically more likely to have larger babies. These are the same people those wretched infant growth charts were modeled after. People of anglo-saxon ancestry have bigger babies, and they score higher on IQ tests because those tests are skewed in their favor. Surely those studies controlled for outside factors like smoking and poor nutrition and prematurity??? Now I'm going to have to find them and pick them apart piece by piece. There's no way those studies hold water. None whatsoever. I still think it's a load of rubbish. And it might very well be ethnocentric to boot (I'm betting it is).
That's right. The original designers of those tests did so specifically in order to show that they were genetically superior. Critics of the tests have repeatedly over a period of decades pointed out the ways that they are culturally biased.

And not only that! The kind of intelligence that they purport to measure isn't everything! I happen to do very well on those tests. I am great at analogies and I have an excellent memory for things I read and hear. I also couldn't braid my own hair until I was 28 years old. I can't knit. I can't sew a straight seam. I am not too great at throwing and catching. My social intelligence and my musical intelligence are very selective and a bit underdeveloped. I am not a good runner.

There are a lot of ways to be smart, you know. You can be "clever with your hands" you can be "good at math" you can be a witty conversationalist. As useful and entertaining as they are, you can't learn everything from books.

That's all a digression from the main point, which is that pregnant women should have good diets and health care so that they can carry their babies to term and so that their babies grow to the right size for them.
post #46 of 91
I'm sure there is weight to this study, but as others said stats mean nothing on an individual basis.

Fundamentally though, I could give a rat's arse about Emma's IQ, I want her to be a good person who has a fufilling life and who is intelligent enough to accomplish what she wants to accomplish, not all kids are meant to be physicists.

It doesn't matter, ultimately, whether she's that much smarter or dumber than any of your kids or anyone elses kids, though it's hard not to get defensive about these things. I must say, as the mother of a low birth weight baby (5 lbs 14 oz) it is hard to read a thread like this, my stomach knotted as soon as I read about the "benefits of being bigger babies" as if bigger babies need to be compared to smaller babies on these matters But after reflection I realize that points on the IQ scale aren't what's most important in life, and so those knots have loosened out.
post #47 of 91
Thanks to TiredX2, for answering my question.

I have to say, I am pretty stunned that anyone considers it appropriate to use the phrase "genius IQ." Maybe this is a regional thing, but in my world, that is not what you say -- if you must say anything at all.

If anyone wants to read the articles in the OP, here is login info from Bug Me Not:
Quote:
username: porkypigg1
password: pigg
I very much agree with the handful of posters who critiqued the IQ tests (yes, I mean the real ones proctored by a trained professional!) because of their bias. The bias found in both differing race/class/gender/nationality/etc. populations' outcomes, and in the intentions of the creators of the tests makes the tests a lot less valid than was once believed. I think the idea of multiple intelligences is really compelling; I wonder if in the future there will be something as standard and universal as the IQ tests, or if we as a society are moving away from standard/universal (and pat!) assessments.
post #48 of 91

no! not an MD.....

my son was born earth day (april), and while being a doc would be just fine, id lean away from an MD, or maybe the medicine will have evolved by then, anyway, that was an amusing stat!
as far as birth size and IQ go- what about asians? we tend to be smaller, at birth and otherwise, and i believe we are still considered a "smart" people, at least steriotypically, if my typos arent evidence to the contrary! my son was 4pnds 4 ounces, really small by americain standards, not at all unusual to other asians.
to the mothers of 12 pnd babies, may i ask, how long did it take to get back down to pre size? may i ask if you are bigger to begin with, want to venture an opinion on size of mother, prego size, size of baby and time it takes to regain? i am small framed, had a small babe on a thurs night, was back in my pants and back in my office monday. i believe this is relatively normal for women my size? have larger friends who seem to have larger babies, take much longer to lose the baby weight.
post #49 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundhunter
It doesn't matter, ultimately, whether she's that much smarter or dumber than any of your kids or anyone elses kids, though it's hard not to get defensive about these things.
People on both ends of the intelligence spectrum (even without being "officially" tested) have problems fitting in with the "normal" people. Learning in an official educational setting is difficult for both ends. That's why schools have gited programs and special ed programs. Of course, home schooling solves most of those issues due to a more one-on-one.

I agree that there's more to life than how smart you are. It isn't necessary to have a 130+ IQ to function well and enjoy life.

If you read my previous post/reply, you see that I agree that birthweight and size has nothing to do with how smart someone is.
post #50 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleu
I think the idea of multiple intelligences is really compelling; I wonder if in the future there will be something as standard and universal as the IQ tests, or if we as a society are moving away from standard/universal (and pat!) assessments.
I'm hoping that standardized tests disappear off the face of the earth forever. They are not always an accurate appraisal of a person. There are too many factors (outside the scope of knowledge required for the tests) to accurately sum up a person.
post #51 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benji'sMom
That's what I was thinking. After all, teenage moms tend to have low birthweight babies because of bad nutrition. It makes sense that it would affect the brain somehow. But just because a person was born low birth weight doesn't necessarily mean it was a result of bad nutrition, but we're talking about generalities. (I was 4lb 11oz, so I don't think small babies turn out dumb, please don't get that impression.)
It isn't just teenage mothers with bad nutrition or eating poorly. I venture to say that at least 80% of women pregnant eat hoards of junk (e.g. Corn Syrup, hot dogs, mcD's, high fat, high sugar, high preservatives, high food color) and it doesn't look like 80% of all babies born in the US are low birthweight.

[EDIT TO CLARIFY] What I am saying is this: Poor nutrition can rarely be a factor in low birthweight. I believe it has mostly to do with genetics. Some adults are shorter. Some babies are small when they're born. Some babies are born huge, but end up average height and size as adults. Some babies are born smallish and lower-than-avg weight, then grow up to be 7' tall. Weight and length at birth are irrelevant. Unless the person lives in a desert and is highly malnurished (e.g. some people in Ethiopia), a baby's weight and length signify nothing.
[/EDIT]

What does a person consider as low birthweight/size? If everyone in your family has had 10 lb babes, then if you have a 8 lb baby is that considered low birthweight? If everyone is short (under 5' tall -- compare to others in US) in your family, could you consider 5'2" short? I am wondering if it's all relative. ack...long post.
post #52 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by I STIK M
as far as birth size and IQ go- what about asians? we tend to be smaller, at birth and otherwise, and i believe we are still considered a "smart" people, at least steriotypically, if my typos arent evidence to the contrary!
Now, see, all due respect, but I think this is exactly where we get into trouble with discussions of intelligence. Race-based sterotypes are... sterotypes. I think they have at least the poential to be racist. I don't think there's anything wrong with respectfully discussing physical differences or tendencies between/among races. But the whole critique of intelligence scoring is that (1) there are other factors beyond taking an arbitrary, timed, standardized test well, and (2) creating a test that artifically priviledges a select demographic is bogus.

In my opinion, this conversation should reflect those critiques in order to be respectful and fair-minded. Even positive sterotypes are problematic. Is Asians are smart, then what are whites? Blacks? Latinos? Native Americans? And what do you mean by "Asians"? Do you mean all people the world over with Asian ancestry? Do you mean Asian-Americans? What about socio-economic factors associated with race, due to community differences and racism?

There is a long history of designing and using IQ tests to yield racist, sexist and classist results. These tests and their manipulated scores have been used for over a century to choke off opportunities for certain populations under the guise of "merit." Even if the tests had no such bias today -- and they still do -- this test history and the history or racism in the United States generally would make race-based theories about intelligence very suspect.

Is anyone else thinking about that blatantly racist book, The Bell Curve, or is it just me? That book was published only about ten years ago!
post #53 of 91
I think people use certain words as cultural shorthand. I don''t agree w/testing kids at all. I am going to edit my first post to say 'really really bright.

Talk about a touchy subject. lol
post #54 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
Talk about a touchy subject. lol
That seems really dismissive. Maybe you could explain what you find so funny?
post #55 of 91
I am not 'dismissing' the unfairness of IQ tests.

I am chuckling about how angry people got right off about this.

Seems a little over the top to me.

Good enough explaination for ya?
post #56 of 91
Thread Starter 
If it will make the mothers of smaller weight babies feel any better, do a google search for "macrosomia." You will see that the positive news is few and far between. I am starting to feel astonished at how people are reacting so strongly to a bit of good news for some babies. I am really mystified. I never intended this thread to go into bashing the mamas of big babies or for this to be perceived as somehow indicting smaller babies.

I would assume that the babies of mothers at MDC are pretty intelligent for the most part, because I have met their mothers online. I don't think IQ is the single detmining factor for happiness or success in life. I used to work with a number of providers of services to people with mental retardation, so I have very strong feelings about the implications of this as well. Smart people are not better people. Smart babies are not better babies.
post #57 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmer mama
Sorry this seems to have offended you. The modest connection between birthweight and IQ just seems to point to good nutrition = good brain development, and poor nutrition may lead to less optimal brain development. I think in light of genetics and body size it is realistic that many small babies may have great maternal nutrition, and I am sure some geniuses may come from malnourished moms. All it means is that maternal nutrition is important.
Yup, exactly. Besides, most of these studies show a difference of a few IQ points. While significant in a statistical sense, I don't think a few IQ points is going to make a huge difference either way on an individual basis. And it's doubtful that anything but extreme malnourishment and neglect is going to stop a kid with a natural IQ of say 180 from being smart.
post #58 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by inezyv
Smart people are not better people. Smart babies are not better babies.
Honestly, that is the way I feel too. I know I have prejudices, but I try to recognize them as such. When I was telling my husband about this thread, he said, "Come on, wouldn't you rather your baby be smart than dumb." OK, putting it that way, sure, I have that bias. I have a lot of them and I'll list them plainly: Smart is better than dumb, thin is better than fat, pretty is better than ugly, rich is better than poor, healthy is better than sickly. I'm trying to get past all that.

But for him, smart is the most important thing. He said all the other things are much less important, but he would have being intelligent is paramount. This whole topic is pretty interesting.
post #59 of 91
The only reason I thought those articles were significant was the conclusion they made that a few IQ points mean nothing to individuals, but these findings may have significance to our entire population. This makes me point to some ideas like doctors should stop pressuring women about healthy weight gain in pregnancy, and shouldn't induce women early just because the baby might get "too big".
post #60 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
I am not 'dismissing' the unfairness of IQ tests.

I am chuckling about how angry people got right off about this.

Seems a little over the top to me.

Good enough explaination for ya?
Yes, thank you -- great explanation. You confirmed my impression. I didn't think you were dismissing the notion of IQ tests being unfair; I thought you were being dismissive to MDC members in this thread.
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