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Child Dev. 1982 Oct;53(5):1157-63.

The relation of growth to cognition in a well-nourished preschool population.


This paper focuses on the nature of the physical growth-behavioral development association in well-nourished as compared with undernourished populations. Multiple regression analyses were calculated to determine the magnitude of IQ variance accounted for by physical growth variables and socioeconomic status indicators in a group of 3- to 6-year-old children from Cambridge, Massachusetts. The prevalence of malnutrition within this sample was negligible. Weight-for-height percentile was the only physical growth measure that explained a significant portion of the IQ variance. This finding contrasts with what is found in undernourished populations where height is generally the most potent explanatory variable of mental test score variance. In undernourished populations height is a reflection of nutritional history; in well-nourished populations weight-for-height is an indicator of physiological maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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