Volume 26, No.1 - Spring 1980
Editor of this issue: Thomas Remeikis
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1980 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.




Intelligence may be defined in various ways. The majority of psychologists today agree that intelligence is not a unitary ability, but a composite of several functions. According to Anastasi, the term intelligence is commonly used to cover that combination of abilities required for survival and advancement within a particular culture.1 Anastasi goes further on stating that the specific abilities that are included in this composite, called intelligence, and their relative weights, vary with time and place. In different cultures or at different historical periods of the same culture, the requirements for successful achievement are different.

Some other psychologists (Levinson, Green, Strauss, 1954) have suggested that an individual's ability tends to increase in functions whose value is emphasized by his culture, and his relative ability tends to decrease in functions devaluated by his culture.2 Irvine has stressed that theories of intelligence are incomplete without reference to the importance of affect and values in determining the direction of human abilities in different societies.3

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of subcultural values, as measured by the study of values by Allport-Vernon-Linzey, on intelligence patterns of representatives of that subculture, as measured by different subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R). The WISC-R scatter of native born American-Lithuanian children of the political immigration after World War II, is studied; and the relationship between the fundamental values of the parents and the discrepancy between verbal IQ and performance IQ of their children at different age levels (Elementary School and High School) is investigated.

An ethnic group is "a foreign culture group of sufficient size and cultural cohesiveness as to constitute a separate subculture in the community, recognized as such both by the ethnic group in question and by the community at large."4 Such a community of Lithuanians (about 30,000) who left their homeland during World War II settled in the United States.5 The largest number of them, possibly a majority, became a part of the Chicago Lithuanian community. The majority of Lithuanians live in the southern part of the city — Marquette Park and in the western suburbs. There are three Lithuanian religious houses in Chicago. The convent of the Sisters of St. Casimir is situated in the Marquette Park district, which in 1957 has been named by the Chicago City Council as the Lithuanian Plaza. In the same district the Sisters of St. Casimir built the new Holy Cross Hospital and the Maria High School which has an auditorium used for major Lithuanian concerts, drama, and opera performances. The new monastery of the Marian Fathers and the printing house of the daily newspaper Draugas (The Friend) stand at the west side of Marquette Park. Situated north of Marquette Park is the Jesuit house with a chapel and youth center, housing the Θiurlionis Art Gallery, the World Lithuanian Archives, the Music Archives, the Lithuanian Pedagogical Institute and the Lithuanian cultural school, which is a Saturday school with more than ten grades. Similar cultural schools are found in Brighton Park, Cicero, and Lemont. There are Lithuanian studios in Chicago for music, drama, ballet, and painting. From time to time major dramatic works are performed and art exhibitions are held. In 1957 the Lithuanian Opera began its activity, staging one opera each year. Since 1956 every four years festivals of songs and of folk dances take place in Chicago in which Lithuanian choirs and folk-dance groups from the United States, Canada, and South America take part. About 200 cultural patriotic and political organizations exist in the Chicago Lithuanian community. About 100 Lithuanian newspapers and magazines and a considerable amount of books have at one time or another been published in Chicago. Since 1940 the American Lithuanian Council, one of the principal Lithuanian political organizations in the US, has had its headquarters in Chicago. Other central Lithuanian organizations — the Lithuanian American Community, the World Lithuanian Community,- the United Lithuanian Relief Fund — are based in Chicago. The Lithuanian community supports Lithuanian cultural activities and efforts to preserve Lithuanian language and nationality. The above description of Lithuanian ethnic group shows that the Lithuanian community is one of many minority subcultures which put great emphasis on education, culture, art, preservation of Lithuanian language, and nationality.

A significant majority of Lithuanian immigrants that have come to the United States after World War II, have high education and are "intellectual" people. But because of the lack of knowledge of the English language and because of discrimination, many had to work for many years in jobs that are much below their capacity. This has even more strengthened the desire of Lithuanian immigrants to see their children achieve what they have been prevented from achieving by World War II.


This experiment is designed to investigate the patterning of intelligence of American-born children of Lithuanian immigrants of the political immigration, who settled in the United States after the World War II. No such study has yet been done. The analyzed studies of Levinson, Green, Straus and others, and the described characteristics of the Lithuanian subculture in America, provide the basis for the following assumptions:


The discrepancy between verbal IQ and performance IQ of the American Lithuanian children is a function of emphasis on theoretical values of the family and the level of education of the children.

(1) American-born children of political immigrants from Lithuania have higher verbal IQ than performance IQ.


(2) The difference between verbal IQ and performance IQ increases with the age and the level of education of the children. VIQ — PIQ High School children > VIQ — PIQ Elementary School Children.

The subjects for this experiment were selected from the Marquette Park Lithuanian Saturday School, consisting of both the elementary and the high school grades. The criteria for the selection of the subjects were the following:

(1) The children had to be native-born from the families of Lithuanian immigrants who settled in the United States after World War II;

(2) The subjects had to be normal individuals with no discernible personality difficulties requiring psychiatric treatment;

(3) All children had to be bilinguals.

For the purpose of this study the child was considered "bilingual" whenever the parents indicated that either the Lithuanian language or both Lithuanian and English were spoken at home and English was spoken outside the home environment.

The following separate lists of students of the Lithuanian Saturday School were made: (1) children attending high school grades; (2) children attending elementary school grades. Random samples of twenty-five students from each of the two lists were drawn and two experimental groups were formed.

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Revised (WISC-R) was used for measuring the intelligence of the children of the two experimental groups. This test was administered to the children at the subjects' homes and in separate rooms. It must be noted that in all cases, even with the young children, good rapport was successfully established and maintained during the testing.

The Allport-Vernon-Lindzey study of values was used for measuring the values of Lithuanian immigrants. The Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Value Scale measures the relative weight of six interests: Theoretical, Economical, Aesthetic, Social, Political, and Religious. This test was filled out by both parents of the children selected, individually, without consulting each other.

The questionnaire on the languages used at home, parents' educational level, socioeconomic status of the family, parents' preference of children's occupations, etc. was answered by both parents together.

The Grade Point Average of every child was taken from the school report.

All the testing was completed in two and a half months.


1. Intelligence

The mean age of the high school children group was 15.12 years. The age range was from 12 years, 11 months to 16 years, 10 months. The mean age of the elementary school children was 10.29 years. The age range of this group was from 6 years, 2 months to 14 years, 3 months.

Table 1 shows the means, standard deviations, range scores, medians, and modes obtained by Lithuanian immigrant high school and elementary school children on the WISC-R. It can be seen from this table, that both high school children and elementary school children obtained the mean full scale IQ's in the High Average Classification.6 The IQ's of both groups fall in the range from normal to very superior classification. There were no children with below average IQ in either group.

Furthermore, it can also be, noted from Table 1 that higher mean verbal IQ's as compared to performance IQ's were obtained by both groups of children. The mean verbal IQ's of both high school and elementary school children fell in the upper range of the "Bright" classification group, whereas the mean performance IQ's of both groups were in the "Average" classification. The high school children performed somewhat better on all three IQ scores as compared to the elementary school children.

Table 1: Verbal-Performance IQ Discrepancies of WISC-R






High School

Elementary School

High School

Elementary School

High School

Elementary School








A 2 x 2 analysis of variance with repeated measures of one factor (IQ type) which took into account the type of IQ (verbal and performance) and age of the children (high school and elementary school), yielded (see Table 2) a statistically significant difference between the verbal and performance IQ scores. However, there was not a significant interraction between the two IQ types and the age of the children, nor was there a significant difference between the IQ's of the children of different ages.

Table 2: Significance of the Differences Between the Means of the Verbal and Performance IQ's of High School and Elementary School Children

Source of variation






Between subjects
A (age)
Subjects within groups
Within subjects
B (IQ type)
B x subjects within group





> .01
< .01
> .01

The mean difference of 10.44 between verbal IQ's and performance IQ's was obtained by high school students and a mean difference of 10.16 was obtained by elementary school students. It appeared that the difference between the two age groups is not significant statistically.

Table 3: Significance of the Differences Between the Means of the Tests of the Boys and Girls















WISC-R Verbal
WISC-R Performance










An examination of Table 3 shows that the boys obtained all three IQ means a little higher than the girls. It appears, however, that all these differences are not statistically significant.

As can be seen from Table 4, the means of the verbal subtests' scaled socre equivalents of both high school and elementary school students, were higher than the means of the performance subtests scaled score equivalents for the same students. However, an examination of Table 4 shows that even the means of the performance subtests' scaled score equivalents were equal or a little higher than the mean scaled score equivalents of fie Standardization group. According to Wechsler (1974), the mean scaled score equivalents of the Standardization group were ten.

Table 4: Means and SD's of the Scaled Score Equivalents of the WISC-R


High School

Elementary School






Picture Completion
Picture Arrangement
Block Design
Object Assembly





2. Grade Point Average and IQ

Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated between the grade point average (GPA) of the children and the full-scale, verbal and performance IQ's of all the fifty children taken together. As expected, the highest correlation was found between the full-scale IQ's and the GPA's, r (48) = .84, p < .01. A correlation coefficient of .80 (48), p < .01, was found between the verbal scale IQ's and the GPA's and just of .40 (48) p < .01, between the performance IQ's and the GPA's.

3. Family Values and Intelligence Pattern of the Children

The results of the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Study of Values may be seen in Table 5. An analysis of this table shows that there exist some differences between the values of the Lithuanian men as compared to those of the women. However, theoretical values are ranked first by both men and women. The other five values from the most important to the least important were ranked by the men in the following order: Economic, Political, Aesthetic, Social, and Religious; by the women: Aesthetic, Religious, Political, Social, and Economic.

Table 5: The Means of Values of the Men and Women















Somewhat greater differences were obtained between the means of the values of this sample of Lithuanian men and women and the Standardization group of American men and women (figures 1 and 2).

t-tests were done with the purpose of determining the significance of the differences between the means of six values of Lithuanian men and women and American men and women. The results were: The Theoretical values of both Lithuanian men and women were higher than those of the Standardization sample of Americans, t (41) = 4.21, p < .01 for the men and t (43) = 15.51, p <.01 for the women. There were no statistically significant differences found between the means of the Economic and Aesthetic values for either the men or the women. Lower means for the Social values were obtained by both the Lithuanian men and women but while the difference was not significant for the men, the difference was statistically significant for the women, t (43) = 3.64, p < .01. The Political values had higher means for the Lithuanian women t (43) = 2.45, p < .05. And finally, the Lithuanian men and women obtained lower mean scores on the Religious values, t (41) = 2.23, p < .05 for the men; and t (43) = 3.90, p < .01, for the women.

Figure 1: Comparison of the Average American and the Lithuanian Immigrant (the Subjects of this Study) Male Profiles

Average American Male Profile  —————
Average Lithuanian Male Profile — — — —

Figure 2: Comparison of the Average American and Lithuanian Immigrant (The Subjects of This Study) Female Profiles

Average American Female Profile  ——————
Average Lithuanian Female Profile — — — — —

Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated between the Theoretical values of the father and the mother and the full-scale, verbal and performance scales IQ's of the children. The only significant relationship was found between the Theoretical values of the mother and the verbal scale IQ's of the children, r (48) = .47, p < .01.

4. Some Other Data of the Lithuanian Families

The questionnaires were filled out by both parents of the children selected together. The following data were obtained from the answers to those questionnaires.

Table 6: English-Lithuanian Spoken at Home by the Parents and the Children


Percent of the time



More than 0 Less than 50


More than 50 Less than 100


Percent of Parents Speaking English
Percent of Parents Speaking Lithuanian
Percent of Children Speaking English
Percent of Children Speaking Lithuanian






An analysis of Table 6 shows that 50 percent of the parents of this sample spoke Lithuanian at home all of the time. Over 86 percent of the parents spoke English at home less than 50 percent of the time. The parents of one of the children selected indicated that they spoke English at home all of the time because the mother was an American-born Lithuanian and her Lithuanian speech was poor.

It can be seen from Table 6 that the children of Lithuanian immigrants spoke English at home much more often than did their parents. Almost 41 percent of the children spoke English half of the time. The parents of five children indicated that their children spoke just Lithuanian at home.

All the children with the exception of two learned Lithuanian first. The two children that learned English first had American-born Lithuanian mothers. English was usually learned later as a result of a contact with English-speaking playmates in the street. Parents think that their children know English better than they do Lithuanian. All parents indicated that their children know English either very well or excellently, whereas 59.09 percent of parents think that their children know Lithuanian just passingly well; another 40.91 percent of parents think that their children's knowledge of Lithuanian is either very good or excellent.

Lithuanian immigrants have high expectations for their children. Just two families indicated that they do not have stated preferences for their children's occupations. All other parents are very definite about their preferences: they want to see their children become professionals with a college degree. Moreover, some of the parents (29.55%) express their expectations for their children to choose the field of medicine (M.D., V.M.D., D.D.S.).

Educational attainment of the parents is rather high. 13.64% of the fathers and 4.55% of the mothers had graduate education; 20.45% of the fathers and 27.27% of the mothers had 4 years of college; 25% of the fathers and 29.55% of the mothers 2 years of college; 40.91% of the fathers and 38.64% of the mothers had vocational or high school education.

According to annual income, the majority of the families which were selected for this experiment fall into the range of middle class socio-economic status. About a fifth of the families had annual income over $30,000; 48% had income in the $20-29,999 range; 30% had income in the $10-19,999 range; and only 2% had income less than $10,000.

Only a chance relationship exists between the full scale IQ's of the children of this sample and the yearly income of the family as well as the educational level of the parents.

A great majority of the children selected, according to their parents, belong to two, three, or more Lithuanian ethnic organizations for youth, such as: dance, chorus, drama, etc.

A great majority of the children (72%) that participated in this experiment attend Catholic private schools. And only 28% of the children attend public schools. Almost half of the mothers (45.45%) are housewives and 54.55% work.


The first hypothesis was supported by the results of this experiment. The results indicate that differences do exist between the verbal and performance psychometric abilities of Lithuanian immigrant children. These differences, as it was predicted, are in favor of the verbal level of intelligence.

On the other hand, in spite of the fact that the discrepancy between the verbal and performance IQ's was a little greater for the high school than for the elementary school children, the second hypothesis was not supported by the data, since this discrepancy was not significant statistically. There can be several explanations for this finding. One possibility is that the process through which the subculture shapes personality is started quite early in an individual's life. As was mentioned before, Levinson found that the differentiation of abilities already exists in the preschool years, though, to a smaller degree.7 The mean age of this sample of elementary school subjects was over ten years. The difference between the means of the high school and the elementary school students was about five years. It seems that family values together with other IQ related-family variables as well as subcultural pressures exert their influences in shaping the psychometric intelligence patterns of the children before the age of six, that is, before they even start school. School seems to have some influence on the psychometric intelligence pattern of the children in the same direction through greater emphasis on verbal learning.

There were no sex differences observed in the performance on the WISC-R of this sample. Although there were some differences in the performance of boys and girls on different subtests, the basic pattern for both sexes was similar, with elevated verbal IQ scores as compared with performance IQ scores.

According to the results of this experiment, the best predictors of the school achievement of the Lithuanian immigrant children are the full-scale and the verbal scale IQ's. These results are similar to those reported by many investigators (Matarazzo, 1972).8 The correlation between academic success and the performance scale IQ's are commonly found to be lower.

All the subjects of this experiment were bilinguals, and all of them with the exception of two, learned Lithuanian first. A great amount of previous research in the field of mental testing would lead one to expect that those subjects would obtain higher scores on the performance scale subtests as compared to the verbal scale subtests. Contrary to the above mentioned expectations, 43 students out of the 50 obtained higher verbal IQ's as compared to performance IQ's. The difference between the verbal and performance IQ's ranged from -9 through 28. The mean full scale IQ's of both experimental groups were higher than the average IQ's of the standardization groups. So bilingualism, at least for our sample, does not depress intelligence scores. One of the possible explanations could be that other variables (poor knowledge of English, low socioeconomic status, poor intellectual environment) usually related closely to bilingualism are nonexistent for the subjects of this experiment. The bilingualism of these subjects was due to the effort on the part of the parents to preserve the Lithuanian language for cultural reasons. However, all the bilingual children had very good or excellent knowledge of English and they used English in their day-to-day contact with their playmates and at school. All of the subjects came from middle-class families, 72 percent of which sent their children to Catholic private schools, which are believed to give better education.

It is well known that the socioeconomic status of the family has a positive relationship with IQ's of the children. Similar relationships have been noted by Matarazzo to exist between the level of education of the parents and the intelligence of the children.9 In this experiment socioeconomic differences, as measured by the yearly income of the family as well as educational level of the parents seem to exert the least or no influence on the intelligence scores of the children. The reader must be reminded that the great majority of Lithuanian families which participated in this experiment fall into the range of middle class socioeconomic status. The other possible reasons for this are: (a) high expectations for the children on the part of parents, (b) great interest of the parents in children's school achievement, attendance of private schools of the great majority of the children. In other words, the aspects of home environment (the number of books at home, the parents' interests in children's school achievement, cultural environment at home, etc.) that were mentioned by Trotman10 (1977) to be related to the intellectual performance of the children are more or less similar in the Lithuanian families. This is due to certain subcultural values that, as shown by the results of this experiment, are somewhat different from American value hierarchy.

Rokeach (1974) has reported that adult Americans perceive themselves as peace-loving, freedom-loving, family-oriented, honest, hardworking, and responsible, they have perceived themselves neither aesthetically or intellectually oriented, nor as status oriented.11

An analysis of Figures 1 and 2 shows that some pronounced differences do exist between the values of Lithuanian immigrants and Americans. These differences are greater for the women than for the men. The Lithuanian women obtained higher means of the Theoretical and Political values and lower means of the Social and Religious values, as compared to the standardization group. On the other hand, the Lithuanian men obtained a higher mean of the Theoretical values and a lower mean of the Religious values than the standardization group. However, the greatest emphasis by both Lithuanian men and women is placed on the Theoretical values. This has historical roots. Education and science have always been valued in Lithuania. Although Lithuania is a small country, the University of Vilnius is one of the oldest in Eastern Europe. During the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries in Lithuania under Tsarist Russian rule, education was attainable just for a small number of Lithuanians; and those few "intellectual people" had been looked upon with great respect. When in 1918 Lithuania became a free country, a great emphasis was placed on the revival of the educational system of the country. It became one of the most important dreams of almost every farmer (Lithuania was an agricultural country.) to see his son or daughter go through college. In addition, as was pointed out earlier, the educational level of the Lithuanian immigrants is rather high. The cultural value placed upon education and the high education of the parents themselves have resulted in high educational expectations for their children as well.

The results of the Value Study indicate that science and education, that is, the Theoretical interests, are assigned high importance by the Lithuanian subculture in the United States at present as well.

Some previous investigators have found different patterns of rankings of the six values on the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Value Study. For example, Eagleson et al.12 administered this scale to 164 Southern Negroes and compared the results with the original data presented by Allport et al.13 Negroes gave Religious values a top ranking and their lowest ranking was on Aesthetic values. Gray compared the findings of Eagleson with the performance of white women.14 They also gave Religious values the highest ranking, with the Social scale being placed second. They also placed low emphasis on Aesthetic values. Both investigators concluded that low Aesthetic and high Religious scores are a function of a culture relating to the suffering of Negroes and white females in society. Eagleson et al. similarly concluded that the order of interests in the six values of the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Study of Values was determined principally by cultural influences.

Connor compared value change in the third generation Japanese with contemporary Caucasian college students.15 He found that Japanese-Americans retained many aspects of the Japanese traditional family system.

Glenn (1974) has noted that any cultural "homogenization" (through mass media or similar influences) does not necessarily bring the major segments of the population close together in their attitudes and values.16 Furthermore, occupational assimilation of immigrants does not necessarily lead to racial (or national) convergence in all kinds of attitudes and values.

The hypothesis that the psychometric pattern of intelligence of the Lithuanian children may be a function of the value system of the Lithuanian subculture was partially supported by the results of this experiment. A statistically significant relationship was found between the Theoretical values of the mother and the verbal scale IQ's of the children. Further on, correlation coefficients were calculated between the means of the Theoretical values of both parents and the differences between verbal and performance IQ's of the children.

Table 7: Correlation Between the VIQ-PIQ of the Children and the Theoretical Values of the Parents


All 50 Children



Theoretical Values of the Father
Theoretical Values of the Mother

.53 **

.52 **

.53 **


2.103 * (df 45)

.70 (df 17)

1.15 (df 23)

*  r and t are significant at the .05 level of confidence
** r is significant at both the .05 and .01 levels of confidence

Table 7 shows the correlations of the differences between the verbal and performance IQ of the children and the Theoretical values of the parents. A significant positive correlation was found between the Theoretical values of the mother and all three groups of children (all 50 taken together, boys and girls taken separately). In addition, the results of the t-tests, showed that a higher correlation was between the Theoretical values of the mother, than those of the father and the discrepancy between the verbal and performance IQ's of all fifty children.

So the results of this experiment lead to the conclusion that the high theoretical orientation of the mother in the Lithuanian subculture exerts some influence on the psychometric pattern of intelligence of the children.

It must be noted here, that one of the basic drawbacks of this experiment is the absence of a control group. The comparisons basically were done with the standardization groups or the results of the other investigators.

On the other hand, it would be interesting to investigate the influence of the other home environment (size of home library, parents' attention for the academic achievement of the children, number of cultural items at home, etc.) and subcultural variables on the psychometric pattern of intelligence of the children of the Lithuanian subculture; or to compare Lithuanians to other bilingual minorities to see why they do quite well on intelligence tests, especially on the verbal subtests and why other ethnic groups do so poorly.

* The author holds an MA degree in Clinical Psychology, presently serves as a psychologist at the Elgin Mental Health Center, Elgin, III.
1 A. Anastasi, Psychological Testing (London, 1969).
2 See the following studies by B. M. Levinson: "Cultural Pressure and WAIS Scatter in a Traditional Jewish Setting", journal of Genetic Psychology, 93 (1958): 277-286; "Traditional Jewish Cultural Values and Performance on the Wechsler Tests", Journal of Educational Psychology, 50 (1959): 177-181; "Subcultural Variations in Verbal Performance Ability at the Elementary School Level", lournal of Genetic Psychology, 97 (1960). T.L. Green, "Individual Response to Cultural Determinants", Journal of Educational Sociology, 26 (1953): 392-399. M. Straus, "Subcultural Variation in Ceylonese Mental Ability, a Study of National Character", lournal of Social Psychology, 39 (1954): 129-141.
3 S.H. Irvine, "Affects and Construct-a-cross Cultural Check on Theories of Intelligence", lournal of Social Psychology, 80 (1970): 23-30. 
4 K. Ellis et al., Intelligence and Cultural Differences (Chicago, 1951), p. 99.
5 Data on the Lithuanian community in Chicago derived from Encyclopedia Lituanica (Boston, 1970-1978), six volumes.
6 D. Wechsler, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (New York, 1974).
7 Levison, op. cit., 1958 study.
8 J.D. Matarazzo, Wechsler's Measurements and Appraisal of Adult Intelligence (Baltimore, 1972).
9 Ibid.
10 F.K. Trotman, "IQ and the Middle Class", Journal of Educational Psychology, 69 (1977): 266-273.
11 M. Rokeach, "Change and Stability in American Value System, 1968-1971," Public Opinion Quarterly, 38 (1974): 222-228.
12 O.W. Eagleson et al., "The Values of Negro Women College Students," The Journal of Social Psychology, 22 (1945): 149-154.
13 C.W. Allport et al., A Study of Values — Manual of Directions (New York, 1960).
14 S.W. Grey, "A Note on the Values of Southern College Women, White and Negro," Journal of Social Psychology, 25 (1947): 239-241.
15 J.M. Connor, "Value Changes in Third Generation Japanese American," journal of Personality Assessment, 39 (1975): 6.
16 N.D. Glenn, "Recent Trends in White Nonwhite Attitudinal Differences," Public Opinion Quarterly, 38 (1974): 596-604.