Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genes Brain Behav. 2008 Apr;7(3):365-72. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Heritability of specific language impairment depends on diagnostic criteria.

Author information

  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. dorothy.bishop@psy.ox.ac.uk


Heritability estimates for specific language impairment (SLI) have been inconsistent. Four twin studies reported heritability of 0.5 or more, but a recent report from the Twins Early Development Study found negligible genetic influence in 4-year-olds. We considered whether the method of ascertainment influenced results and found substantially higher heritability if SLI was defined in terms of referral to speech and language pathology services than if defined by language test scores. Further analysis showed that presence of speech difficulties played a major role in determining whether a child had contact with services. Childhood language disorders that are identified by population screening are likely to have a different phenotype and different etiology from clinically referred cases. Genetic studies are more likely to find high heritability if they focus on cases who have speech difficulties and who have been referred for intervention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk