Is childhood intelligence associated with coexisting disadvantages in adulthood? Evidence from a Swedish cohort study

Published on Dec 1, 2018in American Journal of Infection Control1.97
· DOI :10.1016/j.alcr.2018.10.005
Stefan Fors11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Stockholm University),
Jenny Torssander8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Stockholm University),
Ylva B. Almquist11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Stockholm University)
Abstract Intelligence has repeatedly been linked to a range of different outcomes, including education, labour market success and health. Lower intelligence is consistently associated with worse outcomes. In this study, we analyzed the associations between intelligence measured in childhood, and the risk of experiencing a range of different configurations of coexisting disadvantages in adulthood. We also examined the role of educational achievements in shaping the associations. The analyses are based on the Stockholm Birth Cohort, a data material that encompasses more than 14,000 individuals born in 1953, with follow up until 2008. Latent class analysis was used to identify four different outcome configurations characterized by varying levels of disadvantages, measured in terms of unemployment, social assistance recipiency, and mental health problems. The results show that those who scored lower on an intelligence test in childhood were at an increased risk of experiencing all configurations characterized by increased levels of disadvantages during adulthood. However, these associations were contingent on educational achievement. Once the models were adjusted for school marks and educational attainment, no association between intelligence and disadvantages remained. These findings highlight the importance of developing strategies to facilitate optimal educational opportunities for all children, at all levels of cognitive performance.
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