Although experiments were conducted in order to find out relationship between age and intelligence, the results of study varied according to their research model. For example, the U.S Army tested the aptitude of all draftees in World War 1, which was a cross-sectional study. When the scores of men of various ages were compared, it seemed clear that intellectual ability reached its peak at about age 18, stayed at that level until the mid-20s, and then declined (Yerkes, 1923). However, longitudinal study indicated that people’s IQ scores did not peak in adolescence, the scores continued to rise (Bayley, & Oden, 1955). A discrepancy between the results of these studies was due to the study model. Thus, Schaie (1958) conducted cross-sequential research, which is combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal research, and this cross-sectional study showed age-related improvement in some standard primary mental abilities like vocabulary. He also found that everyone declined by age 6- in at least one of their basic ability, but not until 88 did everyone decline from their earlier scores in all five skills: (1) verbal meaning (vocabulary), (2) spatial orientation, (3) inductive reasoning, (4) number ability, and (5) word fluency (rapid verbal associations). Therefore, Intellectual capabilities change as people grow older. IQ scores typically stay the same or get higher over the lifespan, although they may dip right before death (so called terminal drop). What changes most dramatically over the lifespan is not the overall quality of thinking but the speed of processing in some tasks (Bashore, Ridderinkhof, & van der Molen, 1997), the flexibility of learning, and the time of day when a person performs best.
I want to counsel with child population who are under age of 13 and many studies agree that intelligence develops in childhood. Though, the intelligence is mostly influenced by biological factor, there are some ways to build child’s abilities at home; (1) talk to your child about anything and everything all the time, (2) read concept books, (3) challenge your child’s memory, (4) build math concepts into your conversations, (5) give your child blocks, puzzles, Lincoln Logs, Legos, or Duplos, (6) Let your child solve problems, and (7) keep your child supplies handy. As a counselor I can give advice that can boost child intellectual abilities to his/her parent.
As a counseling, I should be award that each child has different intelligence and it may affect out comes of interventions and his/her future. For example, study suggested that lower cognitive reserve, as reflected by childhood IQ, is an antecedent of several common psychiatric disorders and also predicts persistence and comorbidity. Thus, many adult patients who seek mental health treatment may have lower cognitive ability; this should be considered in prevention and treatment planning (Reichenberg et al., 2009).
There are various types in intelligence. For example, fluid intelligence (make learning of all sorts quick and thorough), crystallized intelligence (reflect accumulated learning), analytic intelligence (involves mental processes as abstract planning, strategy selection, focused attention, and information processing, as well as verbal and logical skills), creative intelligence (the capacity to be intellectually flexible and innovative), practical intelligence (skills used to every day solving), so on. In my point of view, one of the important intelligences that I need to deal with in child counseling is ‘Emotional Intelligence’, which is ability to persist and be resilient in the face of difficulty, monitor one’s feelings, get along with others, resist immediate temptation to pursue a higher goal, and take action that considers the needs of self and others. There are many ways to develop child emotional intelligence including helping child to identify how he/she feels and utilizing a ‘Feeling Vocabulary (modeling to child and sharing when counselor has certain feelings’ One the other hand, telling a child to “suck it up” when something bad happened negatively affects emotional development and emotional intelligence.