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Students’ intelligence test results after six and sixteen months of irregular schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has affected schooling worldwide. In many places, schools closed for weeks or months, only part of the student body could be educated at any one time, or students were taught online. Previous research discloses the relevance of schooling for the development of cognitive abilities. We therefore compared the intelligence test performance of 424 German secondary school students in Grades 7 to 9 (42% female) tested after the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., 2020 sample) to the results of two highly comparable student samples tested in 2002 (n = 1506) and 2012 (n = 197). The results revealed substantially and significantly lower intelligence test scores in the 2020 sample than in both the 2002 and 2012 samples. We retested the 2020 sample after another full school year of COVID-19-affected schooling in 2021. We found mean-level changes of typical magnitude, with no signs of catching up to previous cohorts or further declines in cognitive performance. Perceived stress during the pandemic did not affect changes in intelligence test results between the two measurements.

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Author:Moritz BreitORCiD, Vsevolod Scherrer, Joshua BlickleORCiD, Franzis Preckel
Parent Title (English):PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of publication:San Francisco
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2023/03/08
Date of publication:2023/03/08
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2023/12/08
Volume (for the year ...):2023
Issue / no.:Band 18, Heft 3
Number of pages:25
Institutes:Fachbereich 1
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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