The genetic basis of academic achievement on the queensland core skills test and its shared genetic variance with IQ

M A Wainwright, M J Wright, G M Geffen, M Luciano, N G Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

First, this study examined genetic and environmental sources of variation in performance on a standardised test of academic achievement, the Queensland Core Skills Test (QCST) (Queensland Studies Authority, 2003a). Second, it assessed the genetic correlation among the QCST score and Verbal and Performance IQ measures using the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery (MAB), [Jackson, D. N. (1984) Multidimensional Aptitude Battery manual. Port Huron, MI:Research Psychologist Press, Inc.]. Participants were 256 monozygotic twin pairs and 326 dizygotic twin pairs aged from 15 to 18 years (mean 17 years +/- 0.4 [SD]) when achievement tested, and from 15 to 22 years (mean 16 years +/- 0.4 [SD]) when IQ tested. Univariate analysis indicated a heritability for the QCST of 0.72. Adjustment to this estimate due to truncate selection (downward adjustment) and positive phenotypic assortative mating (upward adjustment) suggested a heritability of 0.76 The phenotypic (0.81) and genetic (0.91) correlations between the QCST and Verbal IQ (VIQ) were significantly stronger than the phenotypic (0.57) and genetic (0.64) correlations between the QCST and Performance IQ (PIQ). The findings suggest that individual variation in QCST performance is largely due to genetic factors and that common environmental effects may be substantially accounted for by phenotypic assortative mating. Covariance between academic achievement on the QCST and psychometric IQ (particularly VIQ) is to a large extent due to common genetic influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • academic
  • achievement
  • heritability
  • intelligence
  • twins
  • SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT
  • COGNITIVE-ABILITIES
  • EDUCATIONAL-ACHIEVEMENT
  • SPOUSE SIMILARITY
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • TWINS
  • HERITABILITY
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • PERSONALITY
  • COVARIANCE

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