Socioeconomic status and the growth of intelligence from infancy through adolescence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalIntelligence
DatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Volume48
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)30-36
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

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 interpretations of the relationship between SES and the development of intelligence.

    Research areas

  • Gender, Intelligence, IQ, Latent growth, Socioeconomic status

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations