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Children's Drawings Indicator Of Intelligence, Study Finds

Update Date: Aug 19, 2014 09:35 AM EDT

The way 4-year-old children draw pictures of a child, is an indicator of intelligence at age 14, according to a new study. 

The study considered 7,752 pairs of identical and non-identical twins. Children of age 4 were asked by their parents to draw a picture of a child. Based on the accurateness of the drawn picture, children were awarded scores. 

Researchers found that the higher scores on the Draw-a-Child test were moderately associated to higher scores of intelligence at ages 4 and 14.  The correlation between drawing and intelligence was moderate at ages 4 (0.33) and 14 (0.20), the press release added. 

The study also found that the link between drawing and later intelligence is influenced by genes. 

 "The Draw-a-Child test was devised in the 1920's to assess children's intelligence, so the fact that the test correlated with intelligence at age 4 was expected. What surprised us was that it correlated with intelligence a decade later," said Dr Rosalind Arden, lead author of the paper from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, in the press release.

"The correlation is moderate, so our findings are interesting, but it does not mean that parents should worry if their child draws badly. Drawing ability does not determine intelligence, there are countless factors, both genetic and environmental, which affect intelligence in later life."

The study has been published in the journal Psychological Science.

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