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Socioeconomic status and the growth of intelligence from infancy through adolescence

von Stumm, Sophie and Plomin, Robert (2015) Socioeconomic status and the growth of intelligence from infancy through adolescence. Intelligence, 48. pp. 30-36. ISSN 0160-2896

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.intell.2014.10.002


Low socioeconomic status (SES) children perform on average worse on intelligence tests than children from higher SES backgrounds, but the developmental relationship between intelligence and SES has not been adequately investigated. Here, we use latent growth curve (LGC) models to assess associations between SES and individual differences in the intelligence starting point (intercept) and in the rate and direction of change in scores (slope and quadratic term) from infancy through adolescence in 14,853 children from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), assessed 9 times on IQ between the ages of 2 and 16 years. SES was significantly associated with intelligence growth factors: higher SES was related both to a higher starting point in infancy and to greater gains in intelligence over time. Specifically, children from low SES families scored on average 6 IQ points lower at age 2 than children from high SES backgrounds; by age 16, this difference had almost tripled. Although these key results did not vary across girls and boys, we observed gender differences in the development of intelligence in early childhood. Overall, SES was shown to be associated with individual differences in intercepts as well as slopes of intelligence. However, this finding does not warrant causal interpre

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier Inc. © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2018 15:52
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:20
Projects: G0901245, HD044454, HD059215
Funders: Medical Research Council, National Institutes of Health

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