Menu Close

The Social Influences on the Realization of Genetic Potential for Intellectual Development

Citation

Guo, Guang & Stearns, Elizabeth (2002). The Social Influences on the Realization of Genetic Potential for Intellectual Development. Social Forces, 80(3), 881-910.

Abstract

Much 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.

URL

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3086460

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Forces

Author(s)

Guo, Guang
Stearns, Elizabeth

Year Published

2002

Volume Number

80

Issue Number

3

Pages

881-910

Reference ID

1892