What is it about?

My co-author and I examined income differences in the Terman sample after controlling for sex, IQ, birth year, home environment, personality, childhood interests, and adult education attainment. We found that men who skipped a grade earned 3.63% to 9.35% annually than similar non-skippers. Women did not enjoy an income advantage from grade skipping, though: -2.02% to 0.42%.

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Why is it important?

Grade skipping (also called full-grade acceleration) is a widely supported practice in gifted education. However, there is little research about its impact in adulthood. Although this study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between grade skipping and adult income, it does provide evidence supporting the practice. This study joins the nearly unanimous research on the positive effects of grade skipping.

Perspectives

I am thrilled this article has published for a few reasons. First, Lewis Terman is one of my intellectual heroes, and it is an honor to have my name on a publication based on his famous longitudinal study. Second, I am the beneficiary of full-grade acceleration (as were two of my four brothers), and it is nice to see that my anecdotal positive experience is supported by empirical data. Finally, I am glad to contribute to the literature on this widely accepted--but seldom implemented--practice. I hope that my work can make a teacher, principal, or parent more likely to decide that a bright child can skip a grade.

Dr Russell T. Warne
Utah Valley University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Income differences among grade skippers and non-grade skippers across genders in the Terman sample, 1936–1976, Learning and Instruction, February 2017, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.10.004.
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