According to new research carried out in the United States, children born during the coronavirus pandemic obtain lower scores on various cognitive tests, especially those that measure verbal, motor and cognitive ability in general.
This study has been conducted since 2011 and a total of 672 Rhode Island children participated. The work showed that those born after the onset of the pandemic showed a drop of 22 points on the Mullen scales of early learning compared to the average of the previous groups.
Researchers have ruled out a direct effect of the virus, as parents who tested positive for COVID-19 were excluded from the analysis.
Instead, the scientists explain that reduced interaction with parents and less outdoor exercise may play a part in the test results. The effects that occurred during pregnancy are also decisive.
For their part, children born in 2019 did not experience a decline in developmental scores during the pandemic.
“Their maturation trajectories were not altered,” said study lead author and pediatrician Sean Deoni of Brown University.
“They seemed to be fine. What really affects those born during the pandemic is the transfer from their mother, what she experiences during late pregnancy or during those crucial first months after birth.
According to the authors, the scores of children born in a pandemic began to decline in 2020. However, it was in 2021 that the developmental deficit became more noticeable.