Family size and intelligence revisited: The role of emotional intelligence

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10 Scopus citations


Studies examining the link between family size and intelligence have consistently found a negative relationship. Children born into larger families tend to score lower on intelligence tests than children raised in smaller families. One recurrent but unexplained finding is that the relation between intelligence and number of siblings is consistently significant for verbal intelligence but inconsistent for nonverbal intelligence. Here, we conceptualize emotional intelligence as one facet of nonverbal intelligence. The research develops a measure of emotional intelligence and uses it to test the hypothesis that emotional intelligence is positively correlated with family size. The results, based upon a sample of graduate students, support the hypothesized relationship. Implications for the study of family size and intelligence, for refining the conceptualizations and measures of nonverbal intelligence, and for leadership theory, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-649
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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