Repost from the old site.
I made an error in a prior calculation of the Hmong IQ on this blog. It was pretty easy to do. If you look at this link, it seems to be a link describing a study on Hmong students that came up with an IQ of 96.44. But I just went back and looked at it again and the site actually references two separate studies both measuring the same thing – the correlation between the K-BIT and WISC intelligence tests.
One study used students in Florida and came up with the 96.44 IQ score. Another study with a similar title was referenced at the bottom and discussed Hmong students. I did not understand that two separate studies were being referred to here. Here is the link if you want to see how I made the error.
Anyway, I just chased down the real Hmong study and it found an IQ of 82.15 for Hmong 9-year old immigrants in the US. That strikes me as way too low, but that is all we have to go by now. There was an extreme divergence between Performance = 95 and Verbal =74 (!) IQ scores. The verbal score strikes me as far too low, and indicates that the students may have had a hard time with the English language.
I have spent quite a bit of time working with Hmong adults of various ages in Fresno, and my impression was that they are not stupid at all. In fact, I felt that they were some of the more intelligent of the SE Asians. A friend of the family in Davis, California has worked a lot with the Mien, a group that is probably very closely related to the Hmong. The children live amongst incredible deprivation there but are often star students.
I feel that as the Hmong stay in the US longer, their IQ scores are sure to rise.
A similar thing occurred with Italians in the US. Around 1920, Italians were scoring about 77-78 on IQ tests and exhibited considerable social pathology such as high crime rates, school failure, gang membership, etc. Much ink was expended on the genetic unfitness of Southern Europeans in general and Italians in particular. These popular attitudes were an impetus for the 1924 Immigration Act that limited immigration from Southern Europe.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time around Italian-Americans these days knows that none of these things are true anymore. Although studies are lacking, it appears that Italian-Americans score around the US White average of 100. In Europe, Italians are one of the highest-scoring groups on the continent.
The paper on the Hmong IQ (the only study of the Hmong IQ ever done, to my knowledge) is here. Prior posts referencing the incorrect score have been revised accordingly.
- Smith, Douglas K., Wessels, Richard A., Riebel, Emily M. August 1997. Use of the WISC-III and K-BIT with Hmong Students. School Psychology Training Program University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.