Early Generic Educational Intervention Has No Effect on Intelligence and Does Not Prevent Mental Retardation: The Infant Health and Development Program

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Verne Bacharach Ph.D., Professor Emeritus (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Early intervention programs designed to increase intelligence and prevent mental retardation have long been a mainstay of pedagogical ideology. The paramount objective is to overcome intellectual disadvantage that some children experience because of unlucky draw from the genetic deck, adverse environmental exposure, and social misfortune. A number of "premier" projects completed over the past two decades have commanded wide professional and public attention. The most thorough and methodologically sophisticated is the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP), a comprehensive preschool program to avert health and intellectual impairments sometimes associated with premature low birthweight. Despite claims that IHDP successfully raised intelligence and prevented mental retardation, close examination of project data reveal that these assertions are without foundation. IHDP failed to produce any enduring and meaningful effect on cognitive development. Among others, two primary reasons for this unsuccessful outcome are failures to consider genetic influences and to individualize intervention in terms of etiological specificity at biological and psychological levels. Prevention of premature low birthweight is more biologically plausible, more effective, and more cost-efficient. These issues are discussed in the context of boarder issues concerning the nature of intelligence and its mutability. It is now time to design specific interventions that are commensurate with individual differences and the distinctive complexity of myriad problems that give rise to intellectual disadvantage.

Additional Information

Bacharach V.R. & Baumeister, A.A. (2000). Early generic educational intervention has no effect on intelligence and does not prevent mental retardation: The Infant Health and Development Program. Intelligence, 28(3), 161-192. (Sep 2000) Published by Elsevier Science Limited (ISSN: 1873-7935).
Language: English
Date: 2000

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