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Differences and secular trends in childhood IQ trajectories in Guatemala City

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journal contribution
posted on 06.03.2020, 11:01 by Liina Mansukoski, Barry Bogin, J Andres Galvez-Sobral, Luis Fúrlan, Will Johnson

This study documents differences in childhood IQ trajectories of Guatemala City children, aged 6-15 years and born 1961-1993, according to school attended, height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) and over time (Flynn effect). IQ data come from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala Longitudinal Study of Child and Adolescent Development. IQ was measured using standardised tests from the Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Test-series. A multilevel model was developed to describe 60 986 IQ observations (level 1), in 22 724 children (level 2), in five schools representing students of different socioeconomic status (SES) (level 3). Average IQ trajectories differed by school. The difference in average IQ at age 11 years between the students of high and low SES schools was 28.7 points. A one-unit increase in HAZ was associated with a 1.42 (0.72, 2.11) unit higher IQ if HAZ was < 0, this association was stronger in public compared to private schools. Conversely, one unit increase in HAZ was only associated with a 0.3 (0.001, 0.5) unit higher IQ if HAZ was ≥ 0. With each birth year increase, IQ at age 11 years increased by 0.14 (95% CI 0.12, 0.16) units, although this Flynn effect attenuated slightly across adolescence. We found no evidence of secular change in the inequality in IQ trajectories (according to school or HAZ). Shorter children from disadvantaged schools in Guatemala City have lower IQ than their taller and wealthier peers, possibly reflecting the damaging effects of poor early life environments both for linear growth and cognitive development.

Funding

Body size trajectories and cardio-metabolic resilience to obesity in three UK birth cohorts : MR/P023347/1

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Intelligence

Volume

80

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).

Acceptance date

05/03/2020

Publication date

2020-03-19

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

0160-2896

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Will Johnson Deposit date: 5 March 2020

Article number

101438

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