School-level genetic variation predicts school-level verbal IQ scores: Results from a sample of American middle and high schools

School-level genetic variation predicts school-level verbal IQ scores: Results from a sample of American middle and high schools

Kevin M. Beaver, John Paul Wright (2011)

Abstract

Research has consistently revealed that average IQ scores vary significantly across macro-level units, such as states and nations. The reason for this variation in IQ, however, has remained at the center of much controversy. One of the more provocative explanations is that IQ across macro-level units is the result of genetic differences, but empirical studies have yet to examine this possibility directly. The current study partially addresses this gap in the literature by examining whether average IQ scores across thirty-six schools are associated with differences in the allelic distributions of dopaminergic polymorphisms across schools. Analysis of data drawn from subjects (ages 12–19 years) participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health provides support in favor of this perspective, where variation in school-level IQ scores was predicted by school-level genetic variation. This association remained statistically significant even after controlling for the effects of race.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Genetic similarity, human altruism, and group selection

Genetic similarity, human altruism, and group selection

J. Philippe Rushton (1989)

Abstract: A new theory of attraction and liking based on kin selection suggests that people detect genetic similarity in others in order to give preferential treatment to those who are most similar to themselves. There are many sources of empirical and theoretical support for this view, including (1) the inclusive fitness theory of altruism, (2) kin recognition studies of animals raised apart, (3) assortative mating studies, (4) favoritism in families, (5) selective similarity among friends, and (6) ethnocentrism. Specific tests of the theory show that (1) sexually interacting couples who produce a child are genetically more similar to each other in blood antigens than they are either to sexually interacting couples who fail to produce a child or to randomly paired couples from the same sample; (2) similarity between marriage partners is most marked in the more genetically influenced of sets of anthropometric, cognitive, and personality characteristics; (3) after the death of a child, parental grief intensity is correlated with the child’s similarity to the parent; (4) long-term male friendship pairs are more similar to each other in blood antigens than they are to random dyads from the same sample; and (5) similarity among best friends is most marked in the more genetically influenced of sets of attitudinal, personality, and anthropometric characteristics. The mechanisms underlying these findings may constitute a biological substrate of ethnocentrism, enabling group selection to occur.

Continue reading

Path Analysis of IQ during Infancy and Early Childhood and an Index of the Home Environment in the Colorado Adoption Project

Path Analysis of IQ during Infancy and Early Childhood and an Index of the Home Environment in the Colorado Adoption Project

TREVA RICE
D. W. FULKER
J. C. DEFRIES
University of Colorado, Boulder

ROBERT PLOMIN
Pennsylvania State University

INTELLIGENCE 12, 27-45 (1988)

A parent-offspring adoption path model, which includes a measured index of the home environment, was formulated to assess the extent to which relationships between the environmental index and children’s behavior are mediated by genetic and environmental influences of the parents. In addition to the direct effect of the home environment on children’s behavior, three types of indirect effects mediated by parental phenotype are considered: a pure environmental effect, a pure genetic effect, and a combined environmental-genetic effect. To illustrate its application, the model was fitted to parental and offspring IQ data collected in the Colorado Adoption Project and an environmental index based on Caldwell and Bradley’s (1978) Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME). Four sets of data, including the HOME index and offspring IQ measured longitudinally at 1, 2, 3, and 4 years of age, were analyzed. The results suggest that in infancy (ages 1 and 2), the HOME reveals a direct environmental effect on children’s IQ as well as indirect effects mediated via parental IQ. Surprisingly, during early childhood (ages 3 and 4), the relationship between the HOME and children’s IQ is due only to indirect parental mediation. Moreover, other than at year 1, the mediation is purely genetic.

Continue reading

Investigation of the relationship between mental retardation with heritability and environmentality of the Wechsler subtests

The present analysis is an extension of Spitz’s earlier (1988) study on the relationship between mental retardation (MR) lower score and subtest heritability (h2) and g-loadings. These relationships were found to be positive. But Spitz himself haven’t tested the possibility that MR (lower) score could be related with shared (c2) or nonshared (e2) environment. I use the WAIS and WISC data given in my earlier post, and have found that MR is not related with c2 and e2 values. These findings nevertheless must be interpreted very carefully because the small number of subtests (e.g., 10 or 11) is a very critical limitation.

Continue reading

The Malleability of IQ as Judged From Adoption Studies

The Malleability of IQ as Judged From Adoption Studies

Charles Locurto (1990)
College of the Holy Cross

Estimates of the malleability of IQ depend largely upon the results of adoption studies. Moderate estimates presently range between 20 to 25 points. It is here argued that the standard adoption study in fact provides little unequivocal evidence of IQ’s malleability. Further, the most prominent adoption studies of contrasted environments, studies wherein the biological family’s socioeconomic status is clearly different from that of the adoptive family, provide malleability estimates that are more modest than has been claimed elsewhere.

Continue reading

Phenotypic and Behavioral Genetic Covariation Between Elemental Cognitive Components and Scholastic Measures

Phenotypic and Behavioral Genetic Covariation Between Elemental Cognitive Components and Scholastic Measures

Dasen Luo, Lee Anne Thompson, and Douglas K. Detterman (2003)

The study subjected nine elementary cognitive task variables from the Cognitive Assessment Tasks (CAT) and three scholastic measures from the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT) to phenotypic and behavioral genetic structural equation modeling based on data for 277 pairs of same sex monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from the Western Reserve Twin Project. Phenotypic and behavioral genetic covariation between certain elemental cognitive components and scholastic performance was examined to determine (a) whether these elemental cognitive components contribute substantially to the variance of scholastic performance; (b) whether such contributions vary across different domains of school knowledge or from specific domains to a general aptitude; (c) the behavioral genetic composition of the elemental cognitive components and the scholastic variables; and (d) how the association between the cognitive components and scholastic performance is genetically and environmentally mediated. The results of the study showed that as much as 30% of the phenotypic variance of scholastic performance was accounted for by the CAT general factor, which was presumably related to mental speed. A mainly genetic covariation was found between the mental speed component and scholastic performance, although each of the two variables was strongly influenced by both heritability and common family environment. The magnitude and etiology of the covariation were largely invariant whether mental speed was related to a common scholastic aptitude or to individual achievement measures covering different knowledge domains. Taken in conjunction with previous findings that mental speed has a substantial genetic correlation with psychometric g, and psychometric g has a mostly genetic covariation with scholastic achievement, the findings of the present study seems to point to a more global picture; namely, there is a causal sequence that starts from mental speed as the explanatory factor for both psychometric g and scholastic performance, and the etiology of the causal link is chiefly genetic.

Continue reading