Genetic Influences on Language, Reading, and Mathematics Skills in a National Sample: An Analysis Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

The Ohio State University, Human Development and Family Science, 1787 Neil Avenue, 135 Campbell Hall, Columbus, OH 43204, USA.
Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools (Impact Factor: 1.32). 11/2009; 41(1):118-28. DOI: 10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0052)
Source: PubMed


The present study had two purposes: provide an illustration of use of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Children's (CNLSY; U.S. Department of Labor, 2009) database and use the database to seek convergent evidence regarding the magnitude and significance of genetic effects influencing low and typical performers on measures of language, reading, and mathematics.
A kinship algorithm that assigned a degree of genetic relatedness to all available pairings was applied to the 1994 wave of the CNLSY sample. Four cognitive achievement outcomes related to language, reading, and mathematics were analyzed across the general sample as well as for children selected below the lowest 20(th) percentile.
The tests of receptive vocabulary, decoding, reading comprehension, and mathematics all suggested estimates of group heritability and full sample heritability of moderate effect sizes, and all estimates were statistically significant. Furthermore, all estimates were within confidence intervals of previously reported estimates from twin and adoption studies.
The present study provides additional support for significant genetic effects across low and wide ranges of specific achievement. Moreover, this study supports that genetic influences on reading, language, and mathematics are generalizable beyond twin and adoption studies.


Available from: Sara Hart
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    • "Between 2003 and 2005we updated the NLSY-C/YA links, which were immediately put to use by a number of research teams. Important publications that emerged included Rodgers et al. (2008); D'Onofrio et al. (2008); Lahey et al. (2009); Mendle et al. (2009); Hart et al. (2010); Salsberry and Reagan (2010); Goodnight et al. (2012); Beaver et al. (2013); Cheung et al. (2014); Rodgers et al. (2015); and a number of other articles. This linking update was completed in 2005, and plain text (CSV) and SAS files containing the links were e-mailed to 50? researchers who had expressed earlier interest, and then over the next several years to others upon request. "
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