Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Injuries from teen fighting deal a blow to IQ

Date:
July 29, 2013
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
A new study has found that adolescent boys who are hurt in just two physical fights suffer a loss in IQ that is roughly equivalent to missing an entire year of school. Girls experience a similar loss of IQ after only a single fighting-related injury.

Adolescent boys who are hurt in just two physical fights suffer a loss in IQ that is roughly equivalent to missing an entire year of school.
Credit: tomalu / Fotolia

A new Florida State University study has found that adolescent boys who are hurt in just two physical fights suffer a loss in IQ that is roughly equivalent to missing an entire year of school. Girls experience a similar loss of IQ after only a single fighting-related injury.

The findings are significant because decreases in IQ are associated with lower educational achievement and occupational performance, mental disorders, behavioral problems and even longevity, the researchers said.

"It's no surprise that being severely physically injured results in negative repercussions, but the extent to which such injuries affect intelligence was quite surprising," said Joseph A. Schwartz, a doctoral student who conducted the study with Professor Kevin Beaver in FSU's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Their findings are outlined in the paper, "Serious Fighting-Related Injuries Produce a Significant Reduction in Intelligence," which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The study is among the first to look at the long-term effects of fighting during adolescence, a critical period of neurological development.

About 4 percent of high school students are injured as a result of a physical fight each year, the researchers said.

Schwartz and Beaver used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health collected between 1994 and 2002 to examine whether serious fighting-related injuries resulted in significant decreases in IQ over a 5- to 6-year time span. The longitudinal study began with a nationally representative sample of 20,000 middle and high school students who were tracked into adulthood through subsequent waves of data collection. At each wave of data collection, respondents were asked about a wide variety of topics, including personality traits, social relationships and the frequency of specific behaviors.

Perhaps not surprisingly, boys experienced a higher number of injuries from fighting than girls; however, the consequences for girls were more severe, a fact the researchers attributed to physiological differences that give males an increased ability to withstand physical trauma.

The researchers found that each fighting-related injury resulted in a loss of 1.62 IQ points for boys, while girls lost an average of 3.02 IQ points, even after controlling for changes in socio-economic status, age and race for both genders. Previous studies have indicated that missing a single year of school is associated with a loss of 2 to 4 IQ points.

The impact on IQ may be even greater when considering only head injuries, the researchers said. The data they studied took into account all fighting-related physical injuries.

The findings highlight the importance of schools and communities developing policies aimed at limiting injuries suffered during adolescence whether through fighting, bullying or contact sports, Schwartz said.

"We tend to focus on factors that may result in increases in intelligence over time, but examining the factors that result in decreases may be just as important," he said. "The first step in correcting a problem is understanding its underlying causes. By knowing that fighting-related injuries result in a significant decrease in intelligence, we can begin to develop programs and protocols aimed at effective intervention."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. The original article was written by Jill Elish. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph A. Schwartz, Kevin M. Beaver. Serious Fighting-Related Injuries Produce a Significant Reduction in Intelligence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.06.007

Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Injuries from teen fighting deal a blow to IQ." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729132914.htm>.
Florida State University. (2013, July 29). Injuries from teen fighting deal a blow to IQ. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729132914.htm
Florida State University. "Injuries from teen fighting deal a blow to IQ." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729132914.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 21, 2014) Bank of America's settlement is by far the largest amount paid by big banks facing mortgage securities probes. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) In the wake of a high-profile harassment case, Twitter says family members can ask for photos of dying or dead relatives to be taken down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins