Huihui Yua, D. Betsy McCoach, Allen W. Gottfriedc, Adele Eskeles Gottfriedd
a Yale University, United States b University of Connecticut, United States c Fullerton Longitudinal Study, California State University, Fullerton, United States d California State University, Northridge, United States
A B S T R A C T
This study examined the stability of the latent construct of intelligence from infancy through adolescence, using latent variable modeling to account for measurement error. Based on the Fullerton Longitudinal Study data, the present study modeled general intelligence across four developmental periods from infancy through adolescence. The Fullerton Longitudinal Study included twelve assessments of intellectual performance over a sixteen-year interval. Three assessments of intellectual performance at each of four developmental periods served as in-dicators of latent intelligence during infancy (1, 1.5, and 2 years old), preschool (2.5, 3, and 3.5 years old), childhood (6, 7, and 8 years old), and adolescence (12, 15, and 17 years old). Intelligence exhibited a high degree of stability across the four developmental periods. For instance, infant intelligence revealed a strong cross-time correlation with preschool intelligence (r = 0.91) and moderate correlations with childhood and adolescent intelligence (r = 0.69 and 0.57, respectively). Intelligence followed a stage-autoregressive pattern whereby correlations between IQ scores decreased as the timespan between assessment waves increased. Further, from infancy to adolescence, the effect of intelligence during earlier periods was completely mediated by intelligence during the adjacent developmental period. In contrast to much prior research, this study demonstrated the stability of general intelligence, beginning in infancy.
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