Genetic and environmental sources of covariance between reading tests used in neuropsychological assessment and IQ subtests

M Wainwright, M J Wright, G M Geffen, L B Geffen, M Luciano, N G Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we examined genetic and environmental influences on covariation among two reading tests used in neuropsychological assessment (Cambridge Contextual Reading Test [CCRT], [Beardsall, L., and Huppert, F. A. ( 1994). J. Clin. Exp. Neuropsychol. 16: 232 - 242], Schonell Graded Word Reading Test [SGWRT], [ Schonell, F. J., and Schonell, P. E. ( 1960). Diagnostic and attainment testing. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.]) and among a selection of IQ subtests from the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery (MAB), [Jackson, D. N. (1984). Multidimensional aptitude battery, Ontario: Research Psychologists Press.] and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) [Wechsler, D. (1981). Manual for the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R). San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation]. Participants were 225 monozygotic and 275 dizygotic twin pairs aged from 15 years to 18 years ( mean, 16 years). For Verbal IQ subtests, phenotypic correlations with the reading tests ranged from 0.44 to 0.65. For Performance IQ subtests, phenotypic correlations with the reading tests ranged from 0.23 to 0.34. Results of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) supported a model with one genetic General factor and three genetic group factors ( Verbal, Performance, Reading). Reading performance was influenced by the genetic General factor ( accounting for 13% and 20% of the variance for the CCRT and SGWRT, respectively), the genetic Verbal factor ( explaining 17% and 19% of variance for the CCRT and SGWRT), and the genetic Reading factor ( explaining 21% of the variance for both the CCRT and SGWRT). A common environment factor accounted for 25% and 14% of the CCRT and SGWRT variance, respectively. Genetic influences accounted for more than half of the phenotypic covariance between the reading tests and each of the IQ subtests. The heritabilities of the CCRT and SGWRT were 0.54 and 0.65, respectively. Observable covariance between reading assessments used by neuropsychologists to estimate IQ and IQ subtests appears to be largely due to genetic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-376
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume34
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

Keywords

  • heritability
  • intelligence
  • neuropsychology
  • reading
  • twins
  • GENERAL COGNITIVE-ABILITY
  • COLORADO-ADOPTION-PROJECT
  • OLDER PERSONS
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • PERFORMANCE
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • PREDICTION
  • TWINS
  • SPEED

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