The moderating influence of school performance on intelligence in young adulthood

E. R. Hegelund, E. L. Mortensen, T. Flensborg-Madsen, J. Dammeyer, K. Christensen, Wendy Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Education has been suggested to be possibly the most consistent, robust, and durable method available for raising intelligence, but little is known about the genetic and environmental interplay underlying this association. Therefore, we investigated how school achievement, as measured by grade point average in lower secondary school at 15 years of age, moderated intelligence variation in young adulthood. The sample consisted of all Danish male twin pairs who had left lower secondary school since 2002 and appeared, typically at age 18, before a draft board through 2015 (N = 2660). Shared environmental variance unique to intelligence (10% of total variance) was found to be greater among individuals with poor school achievement. However, school achievement did not moderate the genetic influences or the non-shared environmental influences on intelligence. We discuss the implications of this in light of the constraints imposed by the statistical models we used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45–57
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume51
Early online date15 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • intelligence
  • school achievement
  • genetic and environmental influences
  • gene-environment interaction
  • Denmark

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