Intelligence and birth order in boys and girls.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The relation between intelligence and birth order was shown in a recent publication [Bjerkedal, T., Kristensen, P., Skjeret, G. A. & Brevik, J. I. (2007). Intelligence test scores and birth order among young Norwegian men (conscripts) analyzed within and between families. Intelligence, 35, 503-514] to be negative. Subjects in this and in an influential earlier study [Belmont, L. & Marolla F. A. (1973). Birth order, family size, and intelligence. Science, 182, 1096-1101] were all men. We tested if the association of IQ and birth order is the same in men and women. Longitudinal IQ data were available from 626 Dutch twin pairs at ages 5, 12 and 18 years. The number of older siblings in these twin families was between zero and five, and was recoded into 3 categories (0, 1 and 2, or more). IQ data were analyzed with a model in which age cohort, number of older sibs, sex and all interactions were included as fixed effects. The dependency between twins was modeled as a function of additive genetic effects (A) and common environment (C) shared by children from the same family. Effects of A, C and unique environment (E) were allowed to differ as a function of age. The correlation across time between IQ scores was modeled a function of genetic and environmental factors. The test for the effect of N of older sibs was significant [F
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-634
JournalIntelligence
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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