A reply to heath et al. on assortative mating for educational level

Ronald C. Johnson, Craig T. Nagoshi, Frank Martin Ahern

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Abstract

Heath et al. (Behav. Genet.15:349-369, 1985), using data from a Norwegian twin registry and selected British and American samples, contend that assortative mating for educational level has not declined over the past 35 years. This is in contrast to the findings of Johnson et al. Behav. Genet.10:1-8, 1980), who reviewed the assortative mating literature, and Ahern et al. (Behav. Genet.13:95-98, 1983), who analyzed data from the Hawaii Family Study of Cognition (HFSC). These authors found a decline in assortative mating for both intelligence and education. Heath and coworkers' criticism of the reliability of HFSC measures is rebutted, then new analyses are presented to show that the decline in assortative mating for both itelligence and education can be detected in self-report data from HFSC parents of Japanese ancestry, although not for parents of Caucasian ancestry. Data from a large-scale survey of alcohol use in Hawaii also indicate a decline in assortative mating for education. The differences in secular changes in assortative mating for educational level in Norway and in Hawaii appear to be real, not artifacts of measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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