Thursday, November 27, 2008

Does paternal investment increase child IQ?

The latest issue of Evolution and Human Behavior has an article on paternal investment and IQ. Using a longitudinal dataset of children born in Britain in 1958, Nettle (2008) found a significant positive correlation between a child’s IQ at age 11 and the father’s degree of family involvement. The less a father cared for his offspring, the less intelligent they were. Nettle concluded that paternal investment affects childhood IQ.

Now, correlation is not causation. It can be shown, for instance, that Presbyterian ministers in Boston have earnings that significantly correlate over time with the price of rum in Havana. But that doesn’t mean they’ve been dabbling in the rum trade. It simply means there’s a common causal factor, in this case the North American business cycle.

Similarly, a common cause may explain the correlation between low investment by fathers and low intelligence in their children. Deadbeat dads tend to be more present-oriented and probably less intelligent. Since intelligence has a large heritable component, their children would be less intelligent on average.

In all fairness, the Nettle study did control for social class, which in turn partially controls for time preference (i.e., whether the fathers were present-oriented or future-oriented). Specifically, the fathers were coded in terms of five occupational categories: professional, managerial and technical, skilled, partly skilled, and unskilled. I doubt, though, that this factor would have accounted for most variability in time preference. Even within the British working class, there is considerable variation, notably by religion and ethnicity, in the respective weighting that people give to present impulses versus future obligations.

Reference

Nettle, D. (2008). Why do some dads get more involved than others? Evidence from a large British cohort. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29, 416-423.

7 comments:

Tod said...

If a deadbeat dad had spent extra time with his children doing so might not have improved their IQ.

Perhaps his children have less potential improvement from being read to ect. And of course the tendency to have large families might mean the children would be spending time with each other compensating for their lesser share of their fathers total time available.

A high investment dad might be getting a bigger return on his time as the child might have a potential to recieve IQ improvement from paternal association far beyond the low cut off point (where additional parental investment ceased to be cost effective) of the lower class children.

A good way of finding out would be to discover if the children of lower class parents who were given to adoptive parents of the professional/managerial class benefited (inasmuch as they gained IQ points over expectations) more than the children of even one professional/managerial parent* who were adopted into lower class families had their IQs lowered .

I've read that adoption authorities have a policy of placing children of one or more relatively higher socio-economic status parents with adoptive parents of a similarly high SES.

*I don't imagine that many children of two professional class people come up for adoption.

Anonymous said...

As a parent who spent hours reading to his kids, I long ago concluded that their love of reading was due to the genes I passed on to them rather than the reading I did for them.

However, the reading was rewarding.

Tod said...

Studies do seem to show that adopted children gain IQ from being brought up in a middle class home. I wonder if the adoption authorities may be able to recognise the more able lower class child at a very early age and prefer to match them with the best homes that are available.

Peter Frost said...

The adoption studies I've seen indicate that a middle-class family environment does boost the intellectual performance of adopted children during childhood and adolescence. This effect, however, tends to 'wash out' over time and is usually gone by the end of adolescence.

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
You re, I guess , probably curious to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no initial capital needed You may commense earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The firm represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with affiliates around the world.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your choice That`s what you wish in the long run!

I`m happy and lucky, I started to take up real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to choose a proper partner who uses your savings in a right way - that`s the AimTrust!.
I take now up to 2G every day, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://umebisepuh.freecities.com/ukyfake.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take our chance together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

Glad to materialize here. Good day or night everybody!

We are not acquainted yet? It’s easy to fix,
my name is James F. Collins.
Generally I’m a venturesome analyst. all my life I’m carried away by online-casino and poker.
Not long time ago I started my own blog, where I describe my virtual adventures.
Probably, it will be interesting for you to utilize special software facilitating winnings .
Please visit my diary. http://allbestcasino.com I’ll be interested on your opinion..

Anonymous said...

Your posts are awesome, many visitors think the same i see. Anyway, i will be back here, cuz spending time here is pure pleasure.
----------------------

Poker Bonus
Free bonus for poker
General rules of the game - in some forms of poker to get the card to be paid the rate of input. In others, such as Texas Hold'em, the obligation of placing the blind has two other players after the dealer. Free poker bankroll, no deposit poker. The players receive cards (depending on the type of game), and their task is the completion of the strongest cards. Each time the cards are dealt, online poker players bid according to the value of the cards, it is possible also called. bluff. Bonus bez depozytu za free.
Texas holdem poker
Poker sign up bonus
Poker players can take advantage of opportunities Played: Belt no deposit poker bonus, free online poker abandonment of further play, the player loses all of their chips, which put up to this point. Waiting ('check') if none of the previous participants has raised the game, players can wait, or not to bring anything to the pot. Check (called call) - this is the alignment of the amount wagered by the other players, which means further part in the poker game. Place (called bet) this is the first place the plant in a certain round
No deposit poker
No deposit bonus