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J Learn Disabil. 1997 Nov-Dec;30(6):617-23.

A twin study of mathematics disability.

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Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.


Although results obtained from recent twin and adoption studies suggest that individual differences in mathematics performance are due in part to heritable influences, no genetic analysis of mathematics disability (MD) has been previously reported. In this article we present data from the first twin sample ascertained for mathematics deficits (40 identical and 23 same-sex fraternal twin pairs in which at least one member had MD). When mathematics performance data from these twin pairs were subjected to a multiple regression analysis, evidence for a significant genetic etiology was obtained. However, tests for the differential etiology of MD as a function of reading performance level were nonsignificant. Results of this first twin study of MD indicate that the condition is significantly heritable, but data from additional twin pairs will be required to test hypotheses of differential etiology more rigorously.

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