Maternal supportiveness is predictive of childhood general intelligence

Curtis S. Dunkel, Dimitri van der Linden, Tetsuya Kawamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (N = 1075) were used to test the hypothesis that maternal supportiveness (measured at three waves from 14 to 36 months) is positively and prospectively associated with a child's general intelligence (measured at five waves from 14 months to 10 years). Bivariate correlations showed that maternal supportiveness was consistently and positively associated with a child's general intelligence. For example, maternal supportiveness as measured at 14 months was correlated with a child's general intelligence at age 10; r = 0.35. Results of autoregressive cross-lagged panel models showed maternal supportiveness directly predicted future general intelligence through age four and indirectly, via age four general intelligence, up to age 10. Additional analyses verified that the effect of maternal supportiveness was on general intelligence and not specific abilities. The results point to the importance of maternal supportiveness on general intelligence in the first decade of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101754
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • General intelligence
  • Longitudinal
  • Maternal supportiveness
  • Nature versus nurture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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