UNAIR expert studies cognitive development factors on children aged 9 to 12 years

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Child development is not only physically, but also cognitively. There are various factors that affect differences in growth and development of each child cognitively considering brain and cognitive development occurs during the first thousand days since conception.

It inspired Susy Katikana Sebayang SP, M.Sc., Ph.D from FKM PSDKU UNAIR Banyuwangi and team to conduct a research. By conducting further studies of Supplementation with Multiple Micronutrients Intervention Trial (SUMMIT), this study was conducted with 27,356 infants from birth to 3 months in 2001 to 2004, which were then registered again in 2017 with 19,274 children (70%) at age 9 -12 years old.

The research entitled “Maternal multiple micronutrient supplementation and other biomedical and socioenvironmental influences on children’s cognition at age 9–12 years in Indonesia ” was looking for factors that affect general intellectual abilities, memory, executive functions, academic achievement, motor performance, social and emotional health. The factors include the effect of Multiple Micronutrients (MMN) and biomedical associations and other determinants in the social environment.

“The effects of MMN and biomedical associations found include anthropometry of mother and child, hemoglobin, and premature birth. While social environmental factors include parental education, socioeconomic status, home environment, and depression during pregnancy, ” she explained.

Furthermore, she also said, the research he did with the team took three groups of samples, the representative sample chosen randomly, sample from malnourished mothers, and sample from mothers with anemia. The research team, she added, also used several series of tests that have been specifically designed to assess brain function, and are important for success in both the educational and everyday world. The design of the test was then adapted according to the place of its implementation which is in Lombok by a panel consisting of scientists both international and local researchers, local psychologists, and local teachers.

The results of the study in a representative sample, Susy explained, showed children in the MMN group had higher mean scores in procedural memory than children in the iron and folic acid (IFA) group. Meanwhile, children in the MMN group who had anemic mothers scored higher in general intellectual abilities.

“Overall, 8 out of the estimated 21 were positive, showing that the MMN group scored consistently higher than the IFA group,” she said.

The research team emphasized that their findings suggested investments to address these factors are needed, including reducing maternal depression and increasing the level of education of girls and boys. More attention to investment from an early age will have a major effect on the growth and development of future generations.

Author: Tsania Ysnaini Mawardi

Details on research available at:

(2017) Maternal multiple micronutrient supplementation and other biomedical and socioenvironmental influences on children’s cognition at age 9–12 years in Indonesia: follow-up of the SUMMIT randomised trial – The Lancet Global Health – Prado, Elizabeth L; Sebayang, Susy K; Apriatni, Mandri; Adawiyah, Siti R; Hidayati, Nina; Islamiyah, Ayuniarti; Siddiq, Sudirman; Harefa, Benyamin; Lum, Jarrad; Alcock, Katherine J; Ullman, Michael T; Muadz, Husni; Shankar, Anuraj H 

https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85009349450&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&src=s&sid=59adc67eafbca135a01c7ae54e894937&sot=autdocs&sdt=autdocs&sl=18&s=AU-ID%2824068188900%29&relpos=4&citeCnt=17&searchTerm=

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