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PLoS One. 2015 Jan 20;10(1):e0113807. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113807. eCollection 2015.

Longitudinal stability in reading comprehension is largely heritable from grades 1 to 6.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America.
2
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, United States of America; Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, United States of America.
3
Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, United States of America.
4
Department of Special Education, Psychology, Radiology, and Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, United States of America.
6
Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.

Abstract

Reading comprehension is a foundational academic skill and significant attention has focused on reading development. This report is the first to examine the stability and change in genetic and environmental influences on reading comprehension across Grades 1 to 6. This developmental range is particularly important because it encompasses the timespan in which most children move from learning how to read to using reading for learning. Longitudinal simplex models were fitted separately for two independent twin samples (N = 706; N = 976). Results suggested that the shared environment contributed to variance in early but not later reading. Instead, stability in reading development was largely mediated by continuous genetic influences. Thus, although reading is clearly a learned skill and the environment remains important for reading development, individual differences in reading comprehension appear to be also influenced by a core of genetic stability that persists through the developmental course of reading.

PMID:
25602760
PMCID:
PMC4300224
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0113807
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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