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Breastfeeding and IQ growth from toddlerhood through adolescence

Pietschnig, Jakob and von Stumm, Sophie and Plomin, Robert (2015) Breastfeeding and IQ growth from toddlerhood through adolescence. PLOS ONE, 10 (9). e0138676. ISSN 1932-6203

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Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138676

Abstract

Objectives The benefits of breastfeeding for cognitive development continue to be hotly debated but are yet to be supported by conclusive empirical evidence. Methods We used here a latent growth curve modeling approach to test the association of breastfeeding with IQ growth trajectories, which allows differentiating the variance in the IQ starting point in early life from variance in IQ gains that occur later in childhood through adolescence. Breastfeeding (yes/ no) was modeled as a direct predictor of three IQ latent growth factors (i.e. intercept, slope and quadratic term) and adjusted for the covariates socioeconomic status, mother's age at birth and gestational stage. Data came from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), a prospective cohort study of twins born between 1996 and 1994 in the United Kingdom, who were assessed 9 times on IQ between age 2 and 16 years (N = 11,582). Results Having been breastfed was associated with a small yet significant advantage in IQ at age 2 in girls (β = .07, CI 95% from 0.64 to 3.01; N = 3,035) but not in boys (β = .04, CI 95% from -0.14 to 2.41). Having been breastfeeding was neither associated with the other IQ growth factors in girls (slope: β = .02, CI 95% from -0.25 to 0.43; quadratic: β = .01, CI 95% from -0.02 to 0.02) nor in boys (slope: β = .02, CI 95% from -0.30 to 0.47; quadratic: β = -.01, CI 95% from -0.01 to 0.01). Conclusions Breastfeeding has little benefit for early life intelligence and cognitive growth from toddlerhood through adolescence.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Sets: Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2018 14:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86768

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