An investigation, in which the University of Valencia, the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Community (FISABIO), the Jaume I University, of the Center for Biomedical Research Network of Epidemiology and Public Health ( CIBERESP) and the Chronic Disease Health Services Research Network (REDISEC), have studied the contribution that some individual characteristics of the mother and father, such as their social class, education or occupation, have on child cognitive development. The study confirms that these singularities explain about 10% of the variation in the cognitive development of boys and girls during their early years, with the educational level of the mother and the social class of the father being the most influential factors in this development. Llúcia González Safont, first author of the article and CIBERESP researcher at FISABIO and in, maintains that in this research “the mother has a slightly greater weight, in her individual contribution, compared to the father, although both overlap widely. In the case of the mother, education acquires greater relevance, while in the case of the father it is social class. However, in both cases, a large overlap is observed between the elements of the socioeconomic gradient”.
This work is part of the cohort study of the INMA Project (Infancia y Medio Ambiente), a mother-infant follow-up study that began in Spain in 2003 and which prospectively follows up nearly 4,000 pregnant women and their children and daughters in seven areas of Spain. Its main objective is to evaluate the effect of environmental pollutants on child development. González Safont points out that “these exhibitions may be related to social inequalities and, therefore, we must know how they affect the participants. In addition, with this article we wanted to start a new line of research on social and gender inequalities, which has been completed with other works”.
Among the conclusions that emerge from this work are that maternal education weighs more on cognitive development during childhood and in the case of the father, social class stands out, although there is an overlap between the two factors and that age and intelligence of the mother are key factors for cognitive development. In addition, since women are the ones who mostly leave the labor market during the first years of raising their sons and daughters, their education provides greater maternal cognitive stimulation and weighs more than that of the father in cognitive development in this first evolutionary stage. . Regarding this last factor, González Safont states that “cognitive development is closely related to the stimulation provided to the child. In our case, mothers spend more time with their children, participating more in this stimulation, than fathers”.
The first author of this research article explains that, regarding the factors of age and intelligence of the mother in the cognitive development of her children, “the association with age was clearer for mothers than to the parents. Boys and girls whose mothers were between 25-34 years old in pregnancy had higher cognitive development, as opposed to younger or older. Something similar happens with intelligence. In the case of mothers, there is a clear trend: those who obtained higher scores on the WAIS-III test had children with higher scores. This was also observed in the fathers, but not with the same intensity”.
Amable Cima, adjunct professor at the CEU San Pablo University School of Medicine, clinical psychologist at HM Hospitales and specialist in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, points out that the influence of the epigenetic factor on cognitive development is of fundamental value, as it can influence developmental potential genetics of the minor. This psychologist states that “this influence is limited and mediated by different environmental elements: from the position of the minor in the set of children in the family to the educational expectations of the parents, through their socio-educational and economic level, and the place of residence. Therefore, genetic factors determine a line of neurodevelopment of the child that, throughout their first years of life, will be accelerated, delayed or stopped by those other epigenetic elements that, as adults, we can control and control. modify to achieve one level or another of biopsychosocial development of the minor”.
Ana Jiménez-Perianes, adjunct professor at the CEU San Pablo University School of Medicine and specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychology, says that, in relation to the results of the research on the greater influence that the educational level of the mother and father has in the child’s cognitive development, has to do with the fact that, “in both c