PARENTS

Raisin Test Could Help Identify Children At Risk Of Underachieving, Study Suggests

19/11/2015 14:00 GMT | Updated 21/12/2015 09:59 GMT

One little raisin could predict how well your child will do at school, a new study suggests.

Children, aged 20 months old, who resisted eating a raisin for 60 seconds when it was placed under a cup had better academic achievement and attention at age eight, the Bavarian Longitudinal Study found.

Professor Dieter Wolke, from Warwick Medical School, said according to the Telegraph: "The raisin game is an easy and effective tool that is good at assessing inhibitory control in young children, and can be used in clinical practice to identify children at risk of attention and learning problems.

"Better inhibitory control at age 20 months predicted better attention regulation and academic achievement at age eight."

raisins

Children had to resist the raisin in front of them for 60 seconds

During the Bavarian Longitudinal Study, which is currently being analysed by a team at the University of Warwick, 558 children were assessed for self-control when they were 20 months old.

The toddlers were sat down and a raisin was placed under an opaque cup in front of them, within reach.

The toddlers were told they couldn't eat the raisin until they were given permission. Researchers waited 60 seconds before telling them they could eat it.

The toddlers had three training runs and then the formal results were recorded the fourth time.

Researchers stated the "majority" of children failed the task.

In a follow-up study, the children's behaviour was tested when they were eight years old. They were evaluated by a team of psychologists and pediatricians using three different behaviour ratings for attention.

Academic achievements including maths, reading and writing were also assessed.

Researchers found the children who successfully waited before eating the raisin when they were a toddler had an average score of 19% higher on the tests when aged eight.

They believe this information could help parents and teachers understand earlier on in their children's life if they are at risk of underachieving.

Researchers from The University of Warwick also looked at the data to see whether results differed in babies who were born prematurely.

The results from the study of children born at 25 to 38 weeks were compared to those born at full term (between 39 to 41 weeks).

The researchers found that children who were born very prematurely were more likely to take the raisin before the allotted time.

Professor Wolke, added: "The results also point to potential innovative avenues to early intervention after preterm birth."

When asked if parents could try the test on their children at home, Wolke said results may be different if a parent completes the test.

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