Genetic Influences on Language, Reading, and Mathematics Skills in a National Sample: An Analysis Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Purpose 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 ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   January 01, 2010
Genetic Influences on Language, Reading, and Mathematics Skills in a National Sample: An Analysis Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sara A. Hart
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Stephen A. Petrill
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Claire M. Kamp Dush
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Contact author: Sara Hart, The Ohio State University, Human Development and Family Science, 1787 Neil Avenue, 135 Campbell Hall, Columbus, OH 43204. E-mail: hart.327@osu.edu.
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   January 01, 2010
Genetic Influences on Language, Reading, and Mathematics Skills in a National Sample: An Analysis Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 118-128. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0052)
History: Received May 3, 2008 , Accepted November 4, 2008
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 118-128. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0052)
History: Received May 3, 2008; Accepted November 4, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Purpose 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.

Methods 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 20th percentile.

Results 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.

Conclusion 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.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The NLSY kinship links were provided by Joe Rodgers, Department of Psychology, University of Oklahoma. The creation of the links occurred through the support of research grants from NIH/NICHD on which Dr. Rodgers was the PI. Others who wish to use the NLSY kinship links can obtain copies of these kinship links by writing Dr. Rodgers at jrodgers@ou.edu. We also wish to thank Reanne Frank for comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
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