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An Empirical Study of the Zajonc-Markus Hypothesis for Achievement Test Score Declines

Gerald J. Melican and Leonard S. Feldt
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), pp. 5-19
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1162505
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Empirical Study of the Zajonc-Markus Hypothesis for Achievement Test Score Declines
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Abstract

Zajonc has proposed that the decline in high school achievement since 1965 can be explained by the trend from 1947 to 1962 toward larger, closer-spaced families. This deduction is based on the Zajonc-Markus theory relating child spacing to intellectual development. The present study tested this theory with data on students in Iowa high schools. The size of the interval between children was found in selected instances to be related to achievement in families of three or more children, but the results were not consistent for every family size nor from child to child in the birth sequence. Overall, the results raise doubt that population trends in child spacing account for the decline in achievement test scores.

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