Children with high IQs are more likely to use drugs when they become adults, compared with children who score lower on intelligence tests, a new study indicates.
The findings come from a British study that has been following thousands of people since 1970. The children’s IQ was tested at ages 5, 10 and 16. When the participants were 30, they were asked about their drug use in the past year.
Researchers discovered men who had a high IQ in childhood were up to twice as likely to use illegal drugs compared with those who scored lower on intelligence testing. Women who had scored high on IQ tests in childhood were up to three times as likely to use drugs when they were adults. The study defined a high IQ as a score between 107 and 158; the average IQ is 100, CNN reports.
“Although it is not yet clear exactly why there should be a link between high IQ and illicit drug use, previous research has shown that people with a high IQ are more open to new experiences and keen on novelty and stimulation,” lead researcher James White of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom said in a news release.
The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.