Early help reaps rewards

Along with higher IQs and better maths and reading scores, a group of toddlers in Kingston, Jamaica, who participated in a program providing additional psychosocial stimulation in their early years, were less likely to be involved in violent crime or fights as adults. 

Researchers provided varying interventions to 129 growth-retarded children in impoverished neighbourhoods over a two-year period, and then followed up four times in the subsequent 20 years. Children who had participated in weekly play sessions designed to improve mother-child interaction had significantly better outcomes than children who had received only nutritional supplements or children who received no intervention, the authors found.

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