“Academic Grades Not Related to Family Size,” Ensign, Aug. 1973, 72
Fact: Members of the Church have larger families than the average. Theory: Children from large families don’t do as well in school as children from small families. Therefore, Mormon children don’t do as well in school as their fellow students who are not members of the Church.
Family size has little to do with how well children do in school, according to the work of a team of three Brigham Young University researchers, Phillip R. Kunz, Evan T. Peterson, and Lynn W. Davis.
The research team examined the relationships of family size, grades, religion, and social class for 5,321 high school students from 27 schools in different sections of the United States.
The research disagrees with a commonly held notion that parents with large families (five or more children) do not have enough time to spend with their children and therefore their children are academically slower than their fellow students.
When the researchers studied the correlation between Church membership and grades, they found that in nearly every instance members of the Church averaged higher grades than their peers.
The survey also indicated that in almost every case the academic achievement of Latter-day Saint girls was not only higher than that of LDS boys, but also higher than that of non-LDS boys and girls.
The research team suggested that members of the Church spend considerable time with individual children and that family size does not seriously limit the amount of time a child spends with his parents. Large families also give children a chance to learn and develop in association with other children.