Family Socialization and the IQ Test Performance of Traditionally and Transracially Adopted Black Children

Elsie Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to investigate the efficacy of the difference orientation for interpreting black children's lower average intelligence test performance. This study examines the response styles to cognitive demands of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) exhibited by two groups of adopted black children, aged from 7 to 10 years at the time of testing, and their average IQ. One group had been adopted by middle-class white families (i.e., transracially adopted), and the second group had been adopted by middle-class black families (i.e., traditionally adopted). A significant difference in the average performance of the two groups of children was observed, favoring those adopted by white families. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated significant differences in the styles of responding to test demands demonstrated by the two groups of black children, which are conceptualized as contributors to the difference in average test score observed between them. Multivariate analysis of the helping behaviors adopted mothers exhibited when helping their children solve a difficult cognitive task revealed significant differences between black and white mothers, which are conceptualized as culturally determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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