The association between family/parenting and offspring IQ remains the matter of debate because of threats related to genetic confounding. The current study is designed to shed some light on this association by examining the influence of parenting influences on adolescent and young adult IQ scores. To do so, a nationally representative sample of youth is analyzed along with a sample of adoptees. The sample of adoptees is able to more fully control for genetic confounding. The results of the study revealed that there is only a marginal and inconsistent influence of parenting on offspring IQ in adolescence and young adulthood. These weak associations were detected in both the nationally representative sample and the adoptee subsample. Sensitivity analyses that focused only on monozygotic twins also revealed no consistent associations between parenting/family measures and verbal intelligence. Taken together, the results of these statistical models indicate that family and parenting characteristics are not significant contributors to variation in IQ scores. The implications of this study are discussed in relation to research examining the effects of family/parenting on offspring IQ scores.

Add Health, Adoption, Family, Intelligence, Parenting,
Intelligence (Kidlington)
Department of Psychology

Beaver, K.M, Schwartz, J.A, Al-Ghamdi, M.S, Kobeisy, A.N, Dunkel, C.S, & van der Linden, D. (2014). A closer look at the role of parenting-related influences on verbal intelligence over the life course: Results from an adoption-based research design. Intelligence (Kidlington), 46(1), 179–187. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2014.06.002