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Parents’ verbal abuse lowers their child’s IQ

Posted February. 21, 2014 04:45,   


Children are more vulnerable to bad words than adults because they are emotionally more sensitive. A survey found that if a person suffers verbal abuse at home at an early age, he or she is more prone to depression, lower IQ, and mental diseases.

Choi Ji-wook, a professor of psychiatry at the Catholic University of Korea Daejeon St. Mary`s Hospital, scanned the brains of 16 women and four men in the age between 20 and 25 who experienced verbal abuse at age between 7 and 13 using Diffusion Tension Imaging (DTI), a technology which captures the images of brain nerve cells using the movements of water molecules, and found specific parts of their brains were damaged compared to normal people.

According to the experiment, parents’ verbal abuse during childhood could harm the fibers that connect different brain areas such as the forebrain, the temporal region, and the limbic system. If a brain receives harmful signals such as swear words and scolding, they undermine the development of the sense center and cause a problem in brain activities, and affect the growth and size of the brain in the end.

There is a similar study in other country. According to the study of American Journal of Psychiatry written by Harvard researchers led by Dr. Martin Teicher, those who were verbally abused during childhood have contraction in certain part of their brain. The researchers studied the brains of 63 adults who had verbal abuse during childhood and found that the corpus callosum which connect the left and the right side of the brain and the hippocampus which governs emotions and memories showed shrinkage. This is likely to lead to a problem of language ability and sociality, and depression.

Linguists say that parents’ linguistic habits affect around 18 months after birth. “When a baby is 18 months old, the baby enters the stage of ‘language explosion’ and starts to have a linguistic cognitive ability,” Koh Do-heung, a professor of speech and hearing science at Hallym University, said, adding, “Parents’ verbal abuse can traumatize infants and preschool children, but the parents mostly do not aware of this.”