Does being poor change how much of a child’s IQ is inherited?
Scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children were analyzed in a sample of 7-year-old twins from the National Collaborative Perinatal Project. A substantial proportion of the twins were raised in families living near or below the poverty level. Biometric analyses were conducted using models allowing for components attributable to the additive effects of genotype, shared environment, and non-shared environment to interact with socioeconomic status (SES) measured as a continuous variable. Results demonstrate that the proportions of IQ variance attributable to genes and environment vary nonlinearly with SES. The models suggest that in impoverished families, 60% of the variance in IQ is accounted for by the shared environment, and the contribution of genes is close to zero; in affluent families, the result is almost exactly the reverse.
Source: “Socioeconomic Status Modifies Heritability of IQ in Young Children” from Psychological Science
This really blew me away a first glance. Does somebody who speaks brain science explain to me if this is as big a deal as it looks? The full text of the study is here.