Socioeconomic status modifies heritability of IQ in young children.

Socioeconomic status modifies heritability of IQ in young children.

Psychol Sci. 2003 Nov;14(6):623-8

Authors: Turkheimer E, Haley A, Waldron M, D’Onofrio B, Gottesman II

Scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children were analyzed in a sample of 7-year-old twins from the National Collaborative Perinatal Project. A substantial proportion of the twins were raised in families living near or below the poverty level. Biometric analyses were conducted using models allowing for components attributable to the additive effects of genotype, shared environment, and nonshared environment to interact with socioeconomic status (SES) measured as a continuous variable. Results demonstrate that the proportions of IQ variance attributable to genes and environment vary nonlinearly with SES. The models suggest that in impoverished families, 60% of the variance in IQ is accounted for by the shared environment, and the contribution of genes is close to zero; in affluent families, the result is almost exactly the reverse.

PMID: 14629696 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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