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Study shows Children who have strong reading skills ‘are more intelligent by their mid-teens’

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 24th July 2014

Parklands credit Paul Cousans 2A recent study of identical twins by researchers at Edinburgh University and King's College London has been able to show the positive effects on the intelligence of teenagers if encouraged to read as children.

Researchers tested nearly 2,000 pairs of identical twins and examined the results of reading and intelligence tests taken by the twins when they were aged seven, nine, 10, 12 and 16.

The scientists used a statistical model to test whether early differences in reading ability between pairs of twins were linked to later differences in their intelligence.

Because twins share all of their genes and grow up in the same home, researchers were able to pinpoint any differences ­attributable to experiences the twins did not share. These might include a particularly effective teacher, or a group of friends that encouraged reading.

Dr Stuart Ritchie, from ­Edinburgh University School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, said: "Since reading is an ability that can be improved, our findings have implications for reading instruction.

"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 a person's lifetime."

Researchers found that early differences in reading were linked to later differences in a range of skills, including verbal intelligence and reasoning. This suggests that tackling ­problems with reading at an early age could have a range of benefits at a later stage.

This sounds like another great reason to join the Reading Revolution to us!

Find out more about the study from Herald Scotland

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