Forgetful toddlers at risk of becoming high school dropouts

New York, Jan 13 (IANS) A habit of forgetting things in toddlers puts them at risk of dropping out of high school, reveals a new study.

According to the researchers, pre-schoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12.

The children who do better on a memory-testing task during toddlerhood are more likely to perform better in school later on — and therefore more likely to stay in school, the findings showed.

Researchers said early intervention by parents could help kids improve their memory.

“Parents can help their children develop strong working memory skills at home, and this can have a positive impact on school performance later in life” said Caroline Fitzpatrick, a researcher at the University of Concordia, Canada.

“Our findings underscore the importance of early intervention,” she added.

The researchers explained that limiting screen time — video games, smartphones, tablets and television — that undermines cognitive control and takes time away from more enriching pursuits, can be a promising strategy for improving memory in children.

The study examined responses from 1,824 children at age two and a half, and then at three and a half.

That data was then compared to the school-related attitudes and results of these children when they hit grade seven.

The study was published in journal Intelligence.

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