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New survey shows worrying IQ results for Thailand
TUESDAY, JUNE 09, 2015 10:21 AM

According to a new survey, children''s IQ scores are dropping in Thailand. A new survey of children's IQ scores from the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand is worrying public officials. Results from the survey indicate that the national average of children's IQ scores dropped to 93.1 in 2014, according to the Bangkok Post. This is almost a full point lower than the 2011 survey, which found an average IQ of 94. Here's what Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin and other Thai officials say might be behind the drop:

Why are IQ scores getting lower in Thailand?
There are many reasons people believe IQ scores could be decreasing in Thailand, but most believe developmental differences between various regions of the country have something to do with it. The survey found that children in Bangkok and other urban and provincial regions had much higher IQ scores (an average of 100.72) than those who lived in rural regions of Thailand (who had average IQ scores of 89.18). What's more, the number of children with IQ scores lower than 70 has also risen dramatically. The 2011 survey found that about 6.5 percent of Thai children had IQ scores in this range, which is already much higher than the global average of 2 percent of children. The 2014 survey results showed around 10 percent of children living in rural regions of Thailand scored below 70.

It's well-known that IQ scores can be affected by environmental factors, including nutrition and education, which could be behind the regional disparities. Rajatanavin said in a press conference that children in rural regions of Thailand have much less access to educational toys and are more likely to be malnourished than those in urban areas.

Family life could have an effect
Rajatanavin also feels that home life and family situations could be part of the low-IQ issue. He believes that parents should be actively involved in their children's development, and that even things like hugging and cutting back on television time could make a difference in children's intellectual development.

"Ties between children and their keepers count," Rajatanavin said in a statement.

In fact, family ties are so important that the Ministry of Public Health is now putting together a campaign to increase the role parents play in their children's lives. As part of the campaign, the Ministry will be opening centers for children and their parents to play and spend time together throughout the country. The centers will also provide parents with important information about early childhood development and health.

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