CitationGuo, Guang & Stearns, Elizabeth (2002). The Social Influences on the Realization of Genetic Potential for Intellectual Development. Social Forces, 80(3), 881-910.
AbstractMuch of sociological analysis is devoted to assessing the relative importance of ascribed and achieved characteristics for social mobility. In this article, we extend this line of sociological work by focusing on children's differential opportunity to achieve their genetic potential for intellectual development. We hypothesize that the extent to which a child realizes his or her genetic potential depends on socioeconomic environment. Using a large sibling sample collected by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we test this hypothesis with a variant of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) as the dependent variable. When measures of social environment are considered simultaneously, parental unemployment and ethnicity have a significant effect on the extent to which genetic potential for intellectual development is realized. Our findings suggest that policymakers can help children in disadvantaged environments realize full genetic potential for intellectual development by altering their social circumstances.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleSocial Forces