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  • 1. Ang, SiewChing
    et al.
    Rodgers, Joseph Lee
    Wänström, Linda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Statistics.
    The Flynn Effect within subgroups in the US: Gender, race, income, education, and urbanization differences in the NLSY-Children data2010In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 38, no 4, p. 367-384Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although the Flynn Effect has been studied widely across cultural, geographic, and intellectual domains, and many explanatory theories have been proposed, little past research attention has been paid to subgroup differences. Rodgers and Wanstrom (2007) identified an aggregate-level Flynn Effect (FE) at each age between 5 and 13 in the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSYC) PIAT-Math data. FE patterns were not obtained for Reading Recognition, Reading Comprehension, or Digit Span, consistent with past FE research suggesting a closer relationship to fluid intelligence measures of problem solving and analytic reasoning than to crystallized measures of verbal comprehension and memory. These prior findings suggest that the NLSYC data can be used as a natural laboratory to study more subtle FE patterns within various demographic subgroups. We test for subgroup Flynn Effect differences by gender, race/ethnicity, maternal education, household income, and urbanization. No subgroups differences emerged for three demographic categories. However, children with more educated (especially college educated) mothers and/or children born into higher income households had an accelerated Flynn Effect in their PIAT-M scores compared to cohort peers with lower educated mothers or lower income households. We interpret both the positive and the null findings in relation to previous theoretical explanations.

  • 2.
    Barclay, Kieron
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    A within-family analysis of birth order and intelligence using population conscription data on Swedish men2015In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 49, p. 134-143Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines the relationship between birth order and intelligence in Sweden. This research question has been of interest for decades, but only one study using a sibling comparison design has found that birth order has a negative effect on intelligence. The data used in this study is Swedish administrative register data, with data on cognitive ability drawn from the military conscription register for men born 1965 to 1977. Within-family comparison linear regression models are used to estimate the difference in cognitive ability by birth order amongst brothers. I find that there is a negative relationship between birth order and cognitive ability. This is consistent in sibling-group-size-specific analyses of sibling groups with two through to six children. Further analyses demonstrate that this negative relationship between birth order and intelligence is consistent in different socioeconomic status groups, and amongst individuals born in the 1960s and 1970s. Analyses of brothers in two-child sibling groups show that the relationship between birth order and intelligence varies by the birth interval. Second borns have a statistically significantly lower cognitive ability score if the birth interval is up to six years, but not if it is longer.

  • 3.
    Barclay, Kieron
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Birth Order and Educational Attainment: evidence from Fully Adopted Sibling Groups2015In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 48, p. 109-122Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study uses data on fully adopted sibling groups to test whether the explanation for the consistently observed negative effects of birth order are physiological or social in origin. Swedish administrative register data is used to construct full sibling data for cohorts born 1960 to 1982. Using a within-family comparison approach, I compare adopted siblings of different adopted birth order to one another to see whether birth order amongst adopted children (N=6,968) is associated with educational attainment by age 30, and the likelihood of having entered tertiary education by age 30. These same within-family comparison analyses are also performed on siblings in fully biologically related sibling groups (N=1,588,401). I find that there is a negative relationship between adopted birth order and both educational attainment and the likelihood of entering tertiary education in fully adopted sibling sets. These findings strongly suggest that differences in educational attainment by birth order are driven by intrafamily social dynamics. I also conduct additional analyses in fully adopted sibling groups where age order and adoption order are reversed to test whether there is evidence for tutoring by siblings. These results do not indicate clear support for any tutoring effect.

  • 4.
    Bergman, Lars R.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Ferrer-Wreder, Laura
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Zukauskiene, Rita
    Career outcomes of adolescents with below average IQ: Who succeeds against the odds?2015In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 52, p. 9-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The educational and vocational careers of adolescents with below average IQ were studied in a sample of Swedish adolescents (N = 1326), born in 1955 and followed from early adolescence to midlife. Compared to those with average IQ, the level of education and occupational status achieved by those with below average IQ were, generally, considerably lower. This was the case, in particular, for female participants in the lowest IQ group. No significant relationships were found between parents' socioeconomic status and educational level, income, or occupational status in midlife for adolescents with low IQ (lowest 20%). When those with a successful educational or vocational career were compared to others on a number of competence factors, own educational aspirations stood out as the factor that differed most within each IQ group between those who succeeded and those who did not. The differences were largest for those of low IQ (effect sizes 0.4–1.6). These findings were consistent with results from multiple regression analyses, which, for instance, showed that, within the low IQ group and controlling for confounders, the only significant predictor of career outcomes was educational aspirations.

  • 5.
    Dekhtyar, Serhiy
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Weber, D.
    Helgertz, J.
    Herlitz, A.
    Sex differences in academic strengths contribute to gender segregation in education and occupation: A longitudinal examination of 167,776 individuals2018In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 67, p. 84-92Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigate whether sex differences in academic strengths have an impact on society by affecting the career choices made by women and men. By longitudinally following 167,776 individuals from Sweden, we found that (1) more 16-year old girls than boys had a relative strength in verbal/language school subjects than in technical/numerical ones, whereas more boys than girls had a relative strength in technical/numerical school subjects than in verbal/language ones; (2) when these girls and boys attained higher education and entered employment, they largely pursued careers cognitively matching their initial academic strengths; (3) while individuals generally made career choices in line with their academic strengths, men and women matched on these strengths nevertheless made rather distinct career choices, in particular women with technical/numerical strengths who largely avoided careers demanding these skills; (4) sex distribution in education and occupation was related to the extent these career paths were perceived as either numerically or verbally demanding. Taken together, although gender segregation is to some extent associated with individuals making choices matching their academic strengths, the vast discrepancies in career outcomes between men and women can be only in part attributed to sex differences in academic performance.

  • 6. Modig, Karin
    et al.
    Bergman, Lars R.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Associations between intelligence in adolescence and indicators of health and health behaviors in midlife in a cohort of Swedish women2012In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 82-90Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this study was to investigate associations between intelligence and indicators of health status and health behaviors at age 43 in a cohort of Swedish women (n = 682). Intelligence was measured by standard IQ tests given at ages 10, 13, and 15. At the age of 43, 479 of the women were sampled for a medical examination in which 369 participated (77% participation rate). We performed correlations of IQ and the continuous health variables and we estimated logistic regression models with dichotomous health variables as the dependent variables. No significant correlations were found between IQ and any of the continuous health variables. In unadjusted logistic regression models where the cut-off points were set based on standard health risk levels, four out of sixteen indicators of unfavorable health status and health behaviors showed significant negative associations with intelligence, meaning higher risk with decreasing IQ-score. After adjusting for educational level, two remained statistically significant: being obese, OR 1.51 (95% CI 1.08, 2.12) and having a high systolic blood pressure OR 1.45 (95% CI 1.03, 2.03). For all other health variables, this study finds no support for a sizable association between IQ in adolescence and indicators of health and health behavior in midlife among Swedish women.

  • 7. Rönnlund, Michael
    et al.
    Carlstedt, Berit
    Blomstedt, Yulia
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Weinehall, Lars
    Secular trends in cognitive test performance: Swedish conscript data 1970–19932013In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 41, no 1, p. 19-24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated time-related patterns in levels of cognitive performance during the period from 1970 to 1993 based on data from Swedish draft boards. The conscripts, including more than a million 18–19-year old men, had taken one of two versions of the Swedish enlistment battery (SEB67; 1970–1979 or SEB80; 1980–1993), each composed of four subtests. The results revealed significant Flynn effects, with estimated gains of 1.2–1.5 IQ-units per decade. The effect seem to hold across ability levels, even though tendencies of more pronounced effects in the lower half of the ability distribution was observed. The largest gains were for visuospatial tests (Paper Form Board and Metal Folding), with little change, even slight losses during the second sub-period, for tests of verbal knowledge (Concept Discrimination and Synonyms) and a mixed pattern for a test of technical comprehension (losses followed by gains). Finally, comparisons of trends in cognitive performance and in standing height show that the gains in cognitive performance over the years from 1980 to 1993 occurred in the absence of overall gains in height, which speaks against nutrition as the cause of the Flynn effects.

  • 8. Rönnlund, Michael
    et al.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The magnitude, generality, and determinants of Flynn effects on forms of declarative memory and visuospatial ability: Time-sequential analyses of data from a Swedish cohort study2008In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 192-209Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To estimate Flynn effects (FEs) on forms of declarative memory (episodic, semantic) and visuospatial ability (Block Design) time-sequential analyses of data for Swedish adult samples (35–80 years) assessed on either of four occasions (1989, 1994, 1999, 2004; <i>n</i> = 2995) were conducted. The results demonstrated cognitive gains across occasions, regardless of age, with no evidence of narrowing gender gaps. Across the entire range of birth cohorts (1909–1969) the estimated gain approached 1 SD unit. Over most cohorts the gains were largest for semantic memory, with a tendency of decelerating gains on the memory factors, but not on Block Design, across more recent cohorts (1954–1969). Together, differences in education, body height, and sibsize predicted virtually all (> 94%) of the time-related differences in cognitive performance. Whereas education emerged as the main factor, the need to consider changes multiple factors to account for FEs is underscored. Their relative influence likely depends on which constellations of ability factors and stages in ontogenetic and societal development are considered.

  • 9. Rönnlund, Michael
    et al.
    Sundström, Anna
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Umeå University, Sweden.
    Interindividual differences in general cognitive ability from age 18 to age 65 years are extremely stable and strongly associated with working memory capacity2015In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 53, p. 59-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of the study was to examine the degree of stability of interindividual differences in general cognitive ability (g) across the adult life span. To this end, we examined a sample of men (n = 262), cognitively assessed for the first time at age 18 (conscript data). The sample was reassessed at age 50 and at five year intervals up to age 65. Scores from conscript tests at age 18 were retrieved and three of the subtests were used as indicators of g in early adulthood. At age 50-65 years, four indicators served the same purpose. At the 15-year follow-up (age 65) two working memory measures were administered which allowed examination of the relationship with working memory capacity. Results from structural Equation Modelling (SEM) indicated extremely high level of stability from young adulthood to age 50 (standardized regression coefficient = 95) as well as from age 50 to age 55,60 and 65 with stability coefficients of .90 or higher for the for the latent g factor. Standardized regression coefficients between young-adult g and the g factor in midlife/old age were .95 from age 18 up to age 50 and 55, .94 up to age 60, and .86 up to age 65. Hence, g at age 18 accounted for 90-74% of the variance in g 32-47 years later. A close association between g and working memory capacity was observed (concurrent association: r = .88, time lagged association: r = .61). Taken together, the present study demonstrates that interindividual differences in g are extremely stable over the period from 18 to midlife, with a significant deviation from unity only at age 65. In light of the parieto-frontal integration theory (P-FIT) of intelligence, consistent with the close association between g and working memory capacity, midlife may be characterized by neural stability, with decline and decreased interindividual stability, related to loss of parieto-frontal integrity, past age 60.

  • 10. Sorberg, Alma
    et al.
    Allebeck, Peter
    Hemmingsson, Tomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    IQ and somatic health in late adolescence2014In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 44, p. 155-162Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Intelligence quotient (IQ) is associated with mental health in youth onwards, as well as somatic health and longevity later in life. However, little is known about the association with somatic health in youth. We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between IQ and a range of somatic diagnoses and health indicators in late adolescence. In a cohort comprising 49321 Swedish men, IQ test performance and health status were recorded at conscription in 1969-70, at ages 18-20. Information on socioeconomic factors in childhood was obtained from the national census. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated by logistic regression. With adjustment for socioeconomic background, each step decrease in IQ test performance on a nine-point scale was associated with an increased OR for the following somatic diagnoses; impaired hearing (1.14, 1. 1.12-1.16), endocrine disorders (1.13, 1.10-1.17), symptoms and ill-defined conditions (1.11, 1.08-1.14), back pain (1.10, 1.08-1.12), digestive system diseases (1.08,1.05-1.10) and injuries (1.02,1.00-1.05); and a decreased OR for hayfever (0.87, 0.85-0.90) and refractive errors (0.87, 0.86-0.88). IQ was also associated with increased ORs for low physical capacity (1.12, 1.10-1.14), signs of inflammation (1.07, 1.06-1.09) and low self-rated health (1.03, 1.02-1.05). Several diagnoses were not associated with IQ In conclusion, lower IQ at conscription was associated with a higher risk for several diagnoses and indicators of poor health, but the risk was decreased for a few of the diagnoses. The mechanisms underlying the associations presumably differ. However, socioeconomic factors in childhood could not explain the associations. 

  • 11. Sorjonen, Kimmo
    et al.
    Farioli, Andrea
    Hemmingsson, Tomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Melin, Bo
    Refractive state, intelligence, education, and Lord's paradox2017In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 61, p. 115-119Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a cohort of Swedish men (N = 45.906), we found that men with myopia had higher' levels of intelligence and education than men with emmetropia and both these groups had higher levels than men with hyperopia. The educational advantage of myopia was reduced by 47-66 percent when adjusting for intelligence but still remained significant. When adjusting for intelligence hyperopes had a higher level of education than emmetropes. Hyperopes also had the highest level of education compared to their level of intelligence. The reversal in the difference between hyperopes and emmetropes when adjusting for intelligence could be seen as an example of Lord's paradox, possibly due to hyperopes having a higher level of intelligence than emmetropes with the same intelligence test score.

  • 12. Sorjonen, Kimmo
    et al.
    Hemmingsson, Tomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
    Deary, Ian J.
    Melin, Bo
    Mediation of the gravitational influence of intelligence on socio-economic outcomes2015In: Intelligence, ISSN 0160-2896, E-ISSN 1873-7935, Vol. 53, p. 8-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The 'gravitational hypothesis' posits that the strength of the association between intelligence and occupational position should increase with age. Here, it is tested in an age-homogeneous, population-representative sample of Swedish men (N = 49,246). Intelligence had a positive effect on occupational and income trajectories, supporting the hypothesis. Although weaker, socio-economic background also had a positive effect on occupational and income trajectories. Both the effect of intelligence and of socioeconomic background was to a large extent mediated by subjects' education level. Intelligence, socio-economic background, and level of education were also found to have a positive association with a deceleration of the increase in occupational position and income with age.

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