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Australian Journal of Psychology 2016; 68: 61–69
doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12083

Age 7 intelligence and paternal education appear best predictors
of educational attainment: The Port Pirie Cohort Study
Hannah A.D. Keage,1 Graciela Muniz,2 Lisa Kurylowicz,1 Miranda Van Hooff,3 Levina Clark,4 Amelia K. Searle,3
Michael G. Sawyer,5,6 Peter Baghurst,7 and Alexander McFarlane3
1

Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South
Australia, 3Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, School of Population Health, Disciplines of 5Paediatrics and 7Public
Health, University of Adelaide, 4School of Psychology, Flinders University, 6Research and Evaluation Unit, Women’s
and Children’s Health Network, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, and 2MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing,
University College London, London, UK
Abstract
Objective: The number of years of education an individual completes is related to their future morbidity and mortality. There are
obvious drivers for educational attainment such as childhood intellect, parental intelligence and education attainment, as well
as socioeconomic status; and associations may be age-dependent. We investigated associations between intelligence across
childhood (collected at two, four, seven and between eleven and thirteen years) and educational attainment (total years) by the
late 20s in the Port Pirie Cohort Study, taking into account maternal intelligence, parental schooling and occupational prestige.
Method: There were 388 individuals from the population-based longitudinal Port Pirie Cohort Study (South Australia) who
provided educational attainment data in the 2008-9 data collection wave. A Structural Equation Model was employed to test
associations between educational attainment and childhood cognitive/IQ measures, taking into account parental factors of IQ,
schooling and socioeconomic status. Results: The vast majority of variables displayed significant simple correlations with each
other in expected directions, e.g. child cognitive/IQ measures with maternal IQ. In the full structural equation model, paternal
schooling and child intelligence at seven years were the only variables significantly related to educational attainment by the late
20s; maternal intelligence was strongly associated with early life but not adolescent intelligence. Conclusions: These findings
highlight the complex inter-generational transmission of social advantages, and substantiate the independent effects of education
and intelligence on later morbidly and mortality.
Key words: cognitive development, educational attainment, intelligence, longitudinal, parental

BACKGROUND
Educational attainment, that is, how many years of schooling and any tertiary studies an individual completes, is a
critical factor to understand within a public health context
as it associated with morbidity and mortality. For example,
those who complete more education in early life have
better physical health (Wrulich et al., 2013) including a
lower risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity in midlife
(Chandola, Deary, Blane, & Batty, 2006; Lawlor, Clark,
Davey Smith, & Leon, 2006; Lawlor, David, Clark,

Correspondence: Hannah Keage, PhD, Cognitive Neuroscience
Laboratory, School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy,
University of South Australia, GPO BOX 2741, Adelaide, SA 5000,
Australia. Email: hannah.keage@unisa.edu.au
Received 25 September 2014. Accepted for publication 17
November 2014.
© 2014 The Australian Psychological Society

McIntyre, & Leon, 2008; Paile-Hyvärinen et al., 2009;
Richards et al., 2009; Yu, Han, Cao, & Guo, 2010), rate
their midlife health as better (Hagger-Johnson, Batty,
Deary, & von Stumm, 2011; Wrulich et al., 2013), display
improved health behaviours in midlife (Gale, Johnson,
Deary, Schoon, & Batty, 2009), have higher cognitive performance (Clouston et al., 2012; Wilson et al., 2009) along
with a lower risk of dementia in late life (EClipSE, 2010),
and die later (Lager, Bremberg, & Vågerö, 2009), as compared with those with less education. These mortality and
morbidity associations with education attainment are well
established; however, the predictors of the accrual of educational attainment are not.
Childhood intelligence is an obvious driver for educational
attainment in adulthood (Batty, Kivimaki, & Deary, 2010;
Deary & Johnson, 2010; Lager, Modin, De Stavola, & Vågerö,
2012; McCall, 1977; Strenze, 2007). In a meta-analysis,
including nearly 85,000 individuals over 59 studies, intelligence correlated (sample size weighted average correlation)

to childhood intelligence at 11 years of age (Johnson et al. 2013).58 for 16–18 years. The differential importance of these various parental factors to the relationship between their child’s intelligence and education is therefore unclear. Fifty-five per cent were female (n = 213. 1969). & Deary. Measures collected from child Bayley Mental Development Index (child at 2 years of age) The mental scale of the Bayley Mental Development Index has 163 items and was used to assess the development of each child at 22–26 months of age (Bayley. The cohort included 723 live births between September 1979 and October 1982 in the regional industrial town of Port Pirie (within 30 km) in South Australia (90% response rate). 1988. It was our aim to understand the predictors of education attainment by investigating relationships between childhood intellectual development measures (general cognitive ability at 2 and 4 years. and individuals varied between 25 and 29 years at the adult data collection wave (M = 36. Johnson. METHODS Participants Individuals were from the population-based Port Pirie Cohort Study (Baghurst et al.94. however.. 1996). n = 175 males). Lager et al. r = . & Deary. Lager et al. and the understanding of object permanence. 2007). r = . Further.61 for 19–23 years (Strenze. Starr. or early into schooling.62 H. their mothers were older at their birth and had lived in Port Pirie for longer. as well as socioeconomic status influence their child’s intelligence (Der.84 years).. Baghurst. This analysis employed a cross-sectional approach as data were collected from different individuals across childhood.D. For example. maternal intelligence has been found to be strongly related to the cognitive development of the child (Der et al. This analysis includes the 388 individuals who provided educational attainment data in the 2008–2009 data collection wave. found a positive relationship between paternal schooling and intelligence of their children (measured at 10 and 20 years) and educational attainment at age 20. (2013). early language and speech development. Batty. McFarlane et al. Sawyer. we sought to identify any age-dependent associations between childhood intelligence and education attainment along with parental factors that may exist.53–.42 for intelligence testing taken 3–10 years. it was found that the strength of the relationship between intelligence and educational attainment increased as childhood age increased—the sample size weighted correlation was r = . & Misson. 2013. learning. their own educational attainment. socioeconomic status. McMichael et al. Gow. 2011).58). By measuring cognitive ability or intelligence before entry into school. Tong. and educational attainment between 20 and 78 years (Strenze. This is particularly important for teasing apart the contributions of childhood intelligence and educational attainment on midlife and late-life factors such as health. please see McFarlane et al.56 (95% confidence interval (CI) . and paternal socioeconomic status has been positively related. with intelligence measured between 3 and 23 years. problem solving capacity. with educational attainment at r = . Parental factors such as intelligence. and were blinded to the results of previous cognitive assessments. (2012). It covers memory. and the remainder were second-borns (n = 39). 2010). 1992. 2012. Those who agreed to participate in 2008–2009 had a larger birth weight and gestational age. McMichael.. 2010.. Keage et al. Sanson. the effects of education on scores obtained are minimised. 2006). 2006. we aimed to assess the contributions of parental factors including years of schooling completed. 2007)—which may be due to increasing influence of genes and/or life experience. MEASURES Research psychologists administered all of the testing sessions to the children and the mother.57 for 11–15 years. In doing so.. & Mudge. and then a subsample of those who had completed the study at age 7 years was assessed between 11 and 13 years. McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities (child at four years) The McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities were used to assess the developmental competence of each child at 4 years © 2014 The Australian Psychological Society .A. Ninety per cent of individuals were firstborns (n = 344). Smart. and their parents were less likely to be smokers. When age at intelligence testing was taken into account. and paternal educational attainment negatively related. and intelligence. Corley.. standard deviation (SD) = . as compared with those who did not agree to participate—all differences were of small effect size. and r = .. For full details. intelligence at 7 and 11–13 years) and later adult educational attainment (collected in late 20s). as some variability in the intelligence scores obtained once the child is at school is likely due to the differential effects of education on cognitive development (Wrulich et al. and there appears a lack of longitudinal research where the contributions of multiple measures of childhood intelligence to later educational attainment are assessed within the same cohort. All members of the cohort from birth were approached in their late 20s (2008–2009) and 56% agreed to participate (n = 402). The raw Bayley Mental Scale is converted to the age-normed Mental Development Index with a mean score of 100 and SD of 16. All cohort participants were assessed periodically from birth to 7 years.

Vimpani. & Wigg. Notably. 1985. Tong et al. USA) and estimated using full information maximum likelihood (FIML) estimation. McMichael. as Port Pirie hosts a lead smelting plant (Baghurst et al. 4 years. 1972). 1996). and 11–13 years blood lead (45%). where a lower score equates to a more prestigious occupation. It was designed for children aged between 6 and 16 years of age and included 10 subtests. and correlations between these variables are presented in Table 2. 1985). 4 years blood lead (26%). The age-normed fullscale intelligence quotient (IQ) had a mean score of 100. 25–29 years) The total number of years of schooling (primary and secondary school. Robertson. 7 years blood lead (29%).. The percentage of missing data was (from n = 388 total) age 2 cognitive performance (3%). 7. Vimpani. maternal occupational prestige (1%). Continuous variables with missing values were estimated within the model via the FIML method under the missing at random assumption. 4. 1 for a simplified version of the model fitted). & McMichael. These data were collected at baseline. age 11–13 IQ (38%). years and 11–13 years) were used within each subregression with child cognitive performance/intelligence as the outcome (2. Robertson. Methods for blood collection and lead calculation are detailed most recently in McFarlane et al. standardised root mean square residual (SRMR). paternal occupational prestige (1%). Los Angeles.. memory. the cohort includes siblings. The Daniel Scale was developed on an Australian sample and uses a 7-point scale. Cumulative blood lead The Port Pirie Cohort Study began primarily to investigate the effect of lead on physical and cognitive outcomes in children. Model fit was assessed using standard fit indices such as the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). maternal IQ (25%). Measures collected from parents Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (maternal. any further study was not reordered however in this sample only 16% of mothers and 20% of fathers completed secondary school. McMichael. 2013). the measure of maternal . CA.. RESULTS Descriptions of key variables included in the statistical model are given in Table 1. with an SD of 15. (2013). paternal schooling (9%). but not the trajectory of cognitive development (Tong.. age 7 IQ (14%).g. The first three subscales are combined to produce a general cognitive index with a mean of 50 and a SD of 10. up to 2 years. which provides an age-normed index of cognitive functioning. age 4 cognitive performance (9%). Baghurst. from 1 to 7 to indicate occupational prestige. 1985. and 11–13 years). perceptual performance. and between 11 and 13 years (Wechsler. The McCarthy Scales consists of five subscales including: verbal. It can be seen that the vast majority of variables were significantly correlated with each other in expected directions. and motor skill tasks. 1998) or adult psychiatric diagnosis in this cohort (McFarlane et al. Notably. Educational attainment (of child. 1981) when the child was between 3 and 4 years. which is usually associated with high socioeconomic status. Burns. Maternal and paternal occupational prestige Occupational prestige of both the mother and father was assessed via the Daniel Scale as a proxy of socioeconomic status (Daniel. and the comparative fit index (CFI). maternal schooling (2%).. 1974). © 2014 The Australian Psychological Society 63 Maternal and paternal schooling The number of years of secondary school completed was reported for the mother and father of each child. within this sample blood lead concentration has been found to relate to small cognitive deficits (Baghurst et al. The model was fitted in Mplus (Muthén & Muthén. in which case maternal intelligence was only taken once (when the first child was 3–4 years). when child was between 3 and 4 years) Maternal intelligence was measured using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (Wechsler. usually within the first trimester of pregnancy of the child later followed in the study. Statistical analysis There were missing data cross all variables except the outcome of education attainment for all n = 388. quantitative. as well as any tertiary studies) was calculated from questions asked at the 2008–2009 data collection wave. all child cognitive/IQ measures were significantly positively correlated and maternal IQ was positively correlated with all of these child assessments. 2 years blood lead (19%). Notably. A structural equation model was considered to test associations between educational attainment and childhood cognitive/IQ measures (see Fig. 1984). Baghurst. For example. Sawyer. 7. 1992. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (child at 7 and 11–13 years) The revised version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-R) was used to assess general intelligence at 7 years of age. Variables assessing cumulative blood lead concentration up to four assessment ages (e. Because of questionnaire design. & Wigg.Predictors of educational attainment of age (MCarthy.

A.001.073.79 11.075.26 69 141 3. maternal IQ. notably the effect was consistent but failed to reach conventional significance levels at early adolescence with p = .. When taking into account all other model variables.195.98 14. p < . 90% CI = . standardised beta = .001). at 2 and 4 years. . Further..e. the number of years of education the child completed by their late 20s) was significantly associated with number of years of schooling completed by their father (standardised beta = . 4 years (standardised beta = .. 4 years related to 2 years. p < . and paternal occupational prestige (Daniel Scale) uses a scale where lower numbers represents more prestige than higher numbers.004).88 2. there were two reports of 6 years. educational attainment was not significantly associated with any other childhood cognitive ability or IQ measure (i.272.038. which only significantly correlated with maternal IQ. the child completed on average. nearly half a year more education (any schooling and tertiary studies).e. IQ score of 85–115). Results from the model are presented in Table 3. Table 1 Participant characteristics of sample Educational attainment (number of years of education completed) 2 years cognitive ability (Bayley Mental) 4 years cognitive ability (McCarthy) 7 years (WISC-R) 11–13 years intelligence (WISC-R) Maternal intelligence (WAIS) Maternal high school attainmenta Paternal high school attainmenta Mean SD Minimum Maximum 13.001). that an individual on average completed nearly half a month more education by their late 20s—translating to a 1-year educational attainment difference between the bottom and top of the average IQ range (i. Keage et al. all parental factors and child sex were entered as separate variables in the full model.24 52 150 50.02 9 19 109. p = . CFI = . p = .052.e. In terms of subregression results within the model. standard error = . and 7 years (standardised Beta = .377. with positive relationships when the child was 2 years (standardised beta = . standard error = ..742. Figure 1 Simplified version of the statistical model fitted. and in early adolescence.099). p < . standard error = .227.14 15.032). standard error = .D. SRMR = . for each additional year of high school completed by the father.001. maternal IQ had a large effect on early childhood cognition and IQ.324. The only exception from the broad pattern of significant correlations was maternal occupational prestige. maternal schooling.06. Fit indices indicated fair to good model fit (RMSEA index .001). however. the © 2014 The Australian Psychological Society . standard error = .065.99 1 6 3.48 0. or with maternal schooling. standardised beta = . for each additional IQ point at age 7.64 H. parental occupational prestige.04 24 79 104. Notably.31 52 54 146 145 93.001) and IQ at 7 years (standardised beta = .51 1. p < . which likely represents a repeat year). standard error = . It was found that educational attainment (i. and paternal schooling.04. standard error = .907).069. therefore. and 11–13 years related to 7 years. 2.120. p < . and significant effects are illustrated in Fig.11 12. standard error = . Further. p = . it was evident that childhood cognitive ability was a highly stable construct with each cognitive/IQ measurement related to the one taken prior (i. That is.e. 7 years related to 4 years.360.218. maternal and paternal occupational prestige correlated negatively with cognitive and IQ assessments.052. and the sex of the child. standardised beta = .070. however.37 99.06 1 6 a Five years signifying high school completion in South Australia (notably.48 9.050.

094 .000 .000 .05.072 .001 .541 .340 .038 .500 .000 −.001 <.065 .100 .001 .293 .064 .541).304 .108 .051 .067 .748 .000 .003 .000 .112 .000 .006 −.050 .094 .000 .000 .195 .102 .038.061 .805 .205 . paternal schooling was not significantly related to the child’s IQ/cognitive ability in the model (at all measurement points.077 .002 .020 −.033 −.449 .063 .000 <.872 .063 .272 .058 .000 .008 .070 .292 .218 .049 −.102 .077 .069 .052 .061 .068 . Maternal years of schooling and parental occupational prestige were not significantly . notably.052 .221 .016 .018 .000 .596 .965 .342 .069 .452 .292 .099 .055 .001 .073 .084 −.001 .168 .000 .37 .000 – – – – .063.007 −.108 −.002 .182 .081 .000 .000 .806 Note.048 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – .208 .052 .000 .042 .379 .031 −. association between maternal IQ and childhood IQ in early adolescence (11–13 years) was not significant (standardised beta = .195 .054 .005 −.006 .209 .000 .548 .125 −.032 .472 .513 .12 .173 .051 .058 .276 .000 – – – – – – Paternal occup prestige Maternal occup prestige 7 years IQ Paternal schooling Maternal schooling Maternal IQ 11–13 years IQ 4 years cognition 2 years cognition Childhood cognition/IQ 65 Table 3 Full results from the SEM Educational attainment Table 2 Correlations and their significance between key study variables Parental factors Predictors of educational attainment Standardised Standard estimate error p-value Educational attainment as outcome 2 years intelligence 4 years intelligence 7 years intelligence 11–13 years intelligence Maternal intelligence Maternal schooling Paternal schooling Maternal occupational prestige Paternal occupational prestige Sex 11–13 years intelligence as outcome 7 years intelligence Maternal intelligence Maternal schooling Paternal schooling Maternal occupational prestige Paternal occupational prestige Sex Cumulative lead to 11–13 years 7 years intelligence as outcome 4 years intelligence Maternal intelligence Maternal schooling Paternal schooling Maternal occupational prestige Paternal occupational prestige Sex Cumulative lead to 7 years 4 years cognition as outcome 2 years intelligence Maternal intelligence Maternal schooling Paternal schooling Maternal occupational prestige Paternal occupational prestige Sex Cumulative lead to 4 years 2 years cognition as outcome Maternal intelligence Maternal schooling Paternal schooling Maternal occupational prestige Paternal occupational prestige Sex Cumulative lead to 2 years .000 – – .676 .000 −.072 .000 −.319 .301 .377 .031 −.021 .163 .070 −.001 .258 .112 .742 .102 .218 .207 −.038 .412 .521 .127 .082 .362 .847 .394 .414 .528 .048 .069 −.054 .−.000 −.492 .095 .000 – – – – – – © 2014 The Australian Psychological Society Maternal occup prestige Paternal schooling Maternal schooling Maternal IQ 11–13 years IQ 7 years IQ 4 years cognition 2 years cognition r p r p r p r p r p r p r p r p r p .000 .463 .229 . Bold characters and values denote p < .213 .001 <.057 .000 .140 .035 −.045 −.498 .050 .000 – – – – .182 .360 .795 <. paternal schooling was significantly correlated with all child cognitive/IQ measures).590 .842 .001 .131 −.483 .105 . Although years of paternal schooling showed the strongest relationship with the child’s educational attainment.000 .227 −.325 .088 .000 – – – – – – – – .092 −.146 .092 −.000 .267 −.415 .325 .001 <.063 .870 .770 .042 .122 .001 .001 .100 .324 −.018 .513 .001 .001 <.001 .067 . standard error = . p = .538 .091 .004 .090 .239 .919 .014 −.498 .049 .057 −.000 .000 −.000 .001 −.064 .

DISCUSSION In this large Australian sample. 1939.100.006)—meaning that girls outperformed boys at 2 years and boys outperformed girls in early adolescence. One reason for this is that age 7 and early adolescent function were both measured via the WISC-R. p = . Figure 2 Diagram showing significant (indicated by arrow) effects from the structural equation model (SEM). Despite the father’s schooling having a large effect on educational attainment of the child. The predictive strength increased with age. the best predictors of education attainment by the late 20s were intelligence scores at 7 years and paternal schooling. it was not significantly associated (taking into account other model variables) to the cognitive ability of the child across their development. Cognitive ability at 2 and 4 years. Sex was related to two childhood cognitive ability/IQ scores—at 2 years (standardised beta = . All childhood cognitive ability/intelligence measurements significantly correlated with educational attainment by the late 20s. Similar to our results.001) and in early adolescence (standardised beta = −.D. intelligence has been reported to be relatively stable between 7 years of age and early adolescence (Moffitt. 1993). age 7 intelligence predicted early adolescent intelligence much better than age 4 to age 7.221. Blood lead concentrations were not associated with cognitive performance at any age. standard error = .. p < . 2006). which aligns with over a century of research into the construct (Deary.394. standard error = . within the model. Intelligence appeared to be highly stable trait. related to any child measure (cognitive ability/IQ or educational attainment). & Silva. and given cognitive and intelligence scores were highly correlated. Caspi. and age 2 to age 4. with standardised betas. Bayley. Intelligence at 7 years was the only significant predictor within the model. within the model.081. Harkness. did not account for additional significant variance in education attainment in the full model. that is.A. and only related to maternal IQ.66 H. when taking into account covariates. whereas measures taken at ages 2 and 4 years related to cognitive function and not intelligence per se (there was no Wechsler scale suitable for these age groups at the time). and intelligence in early adolescence. Keage et al. this means that age seven intelligence explained most variance (note: children in this cohort would have started school at 5 years). 1933). The reason © 2014 The Australian Psychological Society . Another reason for the increase in predictive power of intelligence/cognition with age is that is has been known for a long time that infant and preschool intelligence measurement is less stable than measures taken later in childhood (Anderson. 2012) and recent published work in a longitudinal child sample (Bornstein et al.

2002. Der et al. Another limitation is that educational attainment was only ascertained in the late 20s (25–29 years of age)... who reported that paternal education was related to the educational attainment of the child at 20 years. 2012. (2012) was unable to include in their model. Breslau et al. this difference is likely driven by our study including age 7 intelligence. test scores). Our results were somewhat in line with Lager et al. (2012). However.. Slominski. environmental influences on intelligence decrease and genetic influences increase (Bartels. However. & Kasser. in that we have shown that do not relate to one underlying mental-ability construct. (2012) also reported paternal education was related to the intelligence of the child at 10 and 20 years.g.e. Lager et al. 1982). 2001). & Furnham. We also measured educational attainment as the number of years of school and tertiary studies completed... (2010) who reported that paternal socioeconomic status was positively related. 2011. in association with educational attainment) did approach conventional significance levels (standardised beta = . 2008. and the underlying stability of intelligence over childhood is driven by genetics (Bartels et al. 2004). which introduces sample biases (e. It is likely that non-cognitive factors play a large role in the intergenerational transmission of social advantages (Ackerman. Furnham & Moutafi. Sanson et al.. however.. 1969. and our own results show that the McCarthy Scale score at 5 years was significantly related to the WISC-R at 7 years. 2011. rather only relationships between maternal intelligence— which Lager et al. Van Baal. The two earliest measures of childhood cognitive development (i. 2002). 2007).e. which are measures of general cognitive ability and not intelligence per se. Our findings provide theoretical support for childhood intelligence and educational attainment having independent effects on later morbidity and mortality. & Boomsma. Petrill et al. We found no relationships between paternal education and childhood cognitive ability/intelligence (in full model). Maternal schooling did not appear to affect educational attainment in the full model.. Batty. 2006). The effect for early adolescent intelligence (i. to childhood intelligence at 11 years of age. The influence of paternal factors on child intelligence are at odds with Johnson et al. over other ages.. 2011). John Horwood.102. and childhood circumstances (Fergusson. Smith. standard error = . Although generational. It is of note that social disadvantage leads to a reduction in intelligence between 6 and 11 years at a magnitude similar to this cohort (note average intelligence dropped from an average of 104 at 7 years to 100 in early adolescence in this cohort. paternal (nor maternal) factors had an effect. Rosenblum.. 2012). the Bayley and McCarthy scales were employed. 2001.e. it has been reported that educational . geographical. Pearson et al. However. which meant that the earlier intelligence measurement at age 7 more closely reflected mental capacity and therefore later education attainment. at 2 years the Bayley Mental Development Index and at 4 years the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities) were not the same. Breslau et al. 2010 employed the 1936 Scottish Lothian Birth Cohort). Chamorro-Premuzic.099)... Sameroff. For example. Gale. which accounted for the majority of variance. It also may be that case that cognitive abilities measured at 2 and 4 years were not significant predictors of educational attainment because of the aforementioned measurement instability or that these measures taken prior to school entry do not relate to educational attainment as well as those taken after school entry (i. as intelligence has an inherited component (Benyamin et al. the Wechsler intelligence test for pre-schoolers (the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence) was only valid from 4 and a half years. we did not measure academic performance/achievement (e. if taken after 18 months (Kopp & McCall. & Ridder. as education attainment is usually measured in late adulthood in large cohort studies. This study is not without limitations. carried this weight may reflect slight variations in influences from the environment or agerelated genetic expression. 2005). there is an interaction between intelligence and educational experience). social. Strand. and the Bayley Scale has also shown good predictive validity in terms of later intelligence score. 2011. The relationship between childhood cognitive function/ intelligence and later educational attainment is obviously more complex than our model may suggest. At the time of data collection (1980s).. & Fernandes. therefore. Hack et al. maternal intel© 2014 The Australian Psychological Society 67 ligence was strongly associated with child cognitive ability/ intelligence (Bayley. and cultural differences likely drove these differential findings in part (Johnson et al. and at the time of data collection 14% of the sample were still in full-time education and 5% in part-time education. with some attenuation in this relationship in adolescence. 2013) that overlaps with educational achievement (Calvin et al. & Deary. Rietveld. see Table 1. In the subregression looking at predictors of adolescent intelligence in this sample. 1955. in a large New Zealand study.. where relationships may be different (Deary. As a child ages.. p = . survivor effect) and issues with recall reliability.. and paternal educational attainment negatively related. These scales however have shown good correlations with other standardised intelligence tests (Bayley.Predictors of educational attainment that age 7. nor the same as those employed at later assessments (WISC-R).g. the timing of data collection is also a positive.168. There is a possibility that social disadvantages manifest in the regional industrial town cohort setting led to a drop in measured intelligence in adolescence. the positive relationship between intelligence at 7–9 years of age and later education achievement held when co-varying for early conduct problems and family. 2005).

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