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Monkey see, monkey do? How do shifts in parental socio-economic class influence children's outcomes?

Listed author(s):
  • Jaimee Stuart

    (Centre for Longitudinal Research, University of Auckland, New Zealand)

  • Gail Pacheco

    (Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Law, Auckland University of Technology)

  • Mary Hedges

    (Centre for Longitudinal Research, University of Auckland, New Zealand)

  • Susan Morton

    (Centre for Longitudinal Research, University of Auckland, New Zealand)

This paper utilises the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s (ACONF) cohort to investigate how both perinatal factors and changes in a child’s environment impacts on IQ development between the ages of 7 and 11 years. Two methodological frameworks were utilised; (1) linear and logistic regression, the latter of which enabled calculation of odds ratios to predict likelihood of IQ growth above or below the population average, and (2) latent growth curve modelling (LGCM) which permitted estimation of determinants of two latent factors: an intercept and slope (which in this case equated to IQ at age 7 and the predicted growth trajectory in IQ between age 7 and 11). Results from both approaches were consistent. All of the perinatal factors were found to predict initial levels of IQ and some (mother’s age, parity, gestational age, and gender) were found to predict change in IQ over time. Interestingly, after controlling for relevant perinatal factors, we found the effect of a downward trajectory in socio-economic status (SES) was related to lower IQ at age 7, whereas upward mobility in SES was associated with the converse. Consequently, our results illustrate that while perinatal factors are important in determining IQ in early childhood, growth in intelligence does appear to be responsive to changes in a child’s environment, in this case proxied by mobility of paternal SES.

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Paper provided by Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013-07.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:aut:wpaper:201307
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  1. Anitha George & Lucy Stokes & David Wilkinson, 2012. "Does Early Education Influence Key Stage 1 Attainment? Evidence for England from the Millennium Cohort Study," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 222(1), pages 67-80, October.
  2. Heather Joshi, 2012. "From Cradle to Career: Evidence from the British Birth Cohort Studies on the Family, Education and Employment – Introduction," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 222(1), pages 1-6, October.
  3. M. Christopher Auld & Nirmal Sidhu, 2005. "Schooling, cognitive ability and health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(10), pages 1019-1034.
  4. Angus Armstrong, 2012. "Belief in a Just World and Children's Cognitive Scores," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 222(1), pages 7-19, October.
  5. Guang Guo & Kathleen Harris, 2000. "The mechanisms mediating the effects of poverty on children’s intellectual development," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(4), pages 431-447, November.
  6. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  7. Resul Cesur & Inas Rashad, 2008. "High Birth Weight and Cognitive Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 14524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jason Boardman & Daniel Powers & Yolanda Padilla & Robert Hummer, 2002. "Low birth weight, social factors, and developmental outcomes among children in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 353-368, May.
  9. Hawkes, Denise & Joshi, Heather, 2012. "Age at motherhood and child development: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 8906, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
  10. Denise Hawkes & Heather Joshi, 2012. "Age at Motherhood and Child Development: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 222(1), pages 52-66, October.
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