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Do smart kids become smart adults?

When we think of intelligence, we often associate it with academic prowess and the ability to excel in various domains. In childhood, smart kids are often admired for their exceptional abilities and perceived as having a bright future. But does being a smart kid guarantee the same level of intelligence and success in adulthood?

In this blog post, we will explore whether smart kids become smart adults. We will delve into the development of the brain in smart children and the factors that influence their transition into adulthood. Additionally, we will examine the challenges they may face and the long-term outcomes of their intelligence. Lastly, we will discuss the crucial role of continued growth and development in shaping smart adults.

Development of the Brain in Smart Kids

A recent study has shed light on the development of the brain in smart kids. Contrary to popular belief, it has been found that these children actually lag behind in the development of the “thinking” part of the brain, known as the cortex. The cortex goes through a phase of thickening and then thinning during childhood and the teenage years.

While the findings may come as a surprise, they emphasize the complexity of intelligence and how it is not solely dependent on the development of the brain’s structure. However, the implications of cortical development cannot be overlooked when considering the intelligence of smart kids.

Cortical thickness plays a role in various cognitive abilities, including perception, attention, memory, and executive functions. Thus, the lagging development of the cortex in smart kids may pose challenges in these areas. However, it’s important to note that intelligence is not solely determined by cortical thickness, as other factors also contribute to cognitive abilities.

Factors Influencing the Transition from Smart Kids to Smart Adults

The transition from being a smart kid to a smart adult is influenced by various factors. One significant factor is the environment in which the child grows up. Family support and stimulation play a crucial role in nurturing intelligence. Smart kids who receive encouragement and are provided with opportunities for intellectual growth are more likely to develop their potential and carry it into adulthood.

Access to quality education and resources is another influential factor. Smart kids who have the opportunity to attend schools that cater to their intellectual abilities and offer challenging curricula are more likely to continue their journey as smart adults. The educational environment plays a pivotal role in shaping their intellectual development and fostering their potential.

Genetic factors also contribute to the transition from smart kids to smart adults. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to intelligence, which can influence their cognitive development and potential. However, it’s important to note that genetics alone cannot determine intelligence, as environmental factors also play a significant role.

Challenges Faced by Smart Kids in Becoming Smart Adults

While smart kids may possess exceptional cognitive abilities, they face their own set of challenges when it comes to becoming smart adults. One area that can pose difficulties is social and emotional development. Smart kids may struggle with social adjustments and building meaningful peer relationships. The discrepancy between their intellectual abilities and emotional maturity can lead to feelings of isolation or difficulty connecting with others.

Another challenge lies in the transition from academic success to real-world situations. Smart kids may excel in the classroom, but they may find it challenging to apply their knowledge and skills to practical scenarios. The ability to adapt to new challenges, think critically, and problem-solve in real-life situations is essential for becoming a smart adult.

Long-Term Outcomes of Smart Kids in Adulthood

Despite the challenges they may face, smart kids have the potential to achieve significant long-term outcomes in adulthood. When it comes to education, smart kids are more likely to pursue higher education and advanced degrees. They often excel academically, making valuable contributions to research and innovation.

In terms of career success, smart adults are often sought after for leadership roles. Their intelligence and ability to think critically enable them to make innovative contributions and advancements in their respective fields. Their drive for continuous growth and learning allows them to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving world.

The Role of Continued Growth and Development in Smart Adults

Becoming a smart adult is not a static achievement but a continuous process of growth and development. Lifelong learning and intellectual stimulation play a crucial role in maintaining and expanding intelligence. Smart adults who stay curious, seek new knowledge, and engage in intellectually challenging activities tend to further enhance their cognitive abilities.

Moreover, adaptability and resilience are essential qualities for smart adults. Embracing change and navigating complex environments allow them to thrive in diverse situations. Overcoming obstacles and setbacks with a growth mindset fosters continued growth, enabling them to overcome challenges and reach their full potential.


While smart kids may initially lag behind in the development of the “thinking” part of the brain, their potential to become smart adults should not be underestimated. The transition from childhood intelligence to continued brilliance in adulthood is influenced by factors such as the environment, genetics, and personal development.

Smart kids face unique challenges, from social and emotional adjustments to the application of knowledge in real-world situations. However, with the right support, opportunities, and personal growth, they have the potential to achieve remarkable long-term outcomes in education and career success.

The journey from smart kids to smart adults requires a commitment to lifelong learning, intellectual stimulation, adaptability, and resilience. By fostering supportive environments and providing opportunities for continued growth, we can nurture the intelligence of smart kids and empower them to become exceptional adults.


  1. Do gifted children usually become gifted adults?
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  5. Gifted Children: How to Bring Out Their Potential