Social Development and SAT Scores

Edward Nelsen and Eleanor Maccoby, “The Relationship Between Social Development and Differential Abilities on the Scholastic Aptitude Test,” Merril-Palmer Quarterly of Behavior and Development, Vol. 12, No. 4 (October, 1966), pp. 281-

In the current study it was found that males and females who report having had lots of friends, as well as some close friends, tended to obtain higher mathematics scores….

males who report having been “mamma’s boy” or “daddy’s boy” are more likely to report having had only a few close friends or many friends who were not close…Thus a Vm pattern appears to be associated with social withdrawal and dependency upon parents….

conflict and anxiety over interpersonal relationships—with peers and with parents—is one of the conditions which could produce anxiety which interferes with those cognitive operations involved in mathematics. In this study, for example, the support for the tension interference hypothesis comes largely from items directly referring to reactions and relationships to parents and peers, e.g. fear of parents, popularity. Furthermore, it seems probable that inappropriate sex typing, especially for males, is one of the conditions which could produce anxiety over interpersonal relationships. Thus, the sex typing and tension-interference hypotheses appear to coalesce well when viewed in these terms.


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