— In a study that looked at babies raised and raised by different types of single moms, researchers found the children of single mothers scored lower on several cognitive tests than those raised by married mothers.
Researchers from the University of Toronto’s department of psychology found the babies of single women scored lower in reading, math and science, compared to those raised in households where both parents worked.
The study, published this week in the journal Intelligence, looked at nearly 100 children from a large study that examined IQ in the US and Canada.
This is the first study to look at a long-term outcome of IQ in children raised by a single mother.
“This study shows that a single-parent family is more likely to have children with lower scores on IQ tests,” said the study’s lead author, Rebecca Bunn, a doctoral student at the University.
It’s a concern for many parents who are struggling to balance work, school and home.
Bunn said she was surprised by the finding.
A mother with children aged between five and 10 may have a couple of jobs, but she often has two kids, one who is in high school and the other who is enrolled in college.
While single parents have fewer responsibilities, Bunn said they can also have a stronger connection to their children.
One of the key findings of the study was that children of married mothers scored significantly lower than children of unmarried mothers.
In fact, a single parent with a child was about 3.5 per cent more likely than a single father to have a child with a cognitive deficit, according to the study.
In terms of IQ, the children in single-mother families had lower average scores than the children raised in families where both the mother and father worked.
However, the study found that a child of a single mom had a lower average score than a child born to a single dad.
The authors said it was unclear if this was due to the single mother’s education level or the child’s gender.
Overall, Buntons findings indicate that a biological family environment is associated with lower IQ in later life, especially for children.
It’s possible that the IQ differences could be explained by differences in parenting styles, she said.