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Title: Environmental and Genetic Influences on Prereading Skills in Australia, Scandinavia, and the United States
Contributor(s): Samuelsson, S (author); Byrne, BJ (author)orcid ; Quain, P (author); Wadsworth, S (author); Corley, R (author); DeFries, JC (author); Willcutt, E (author); Olson, RK (author)
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1037/0022-0663.97.4.705
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Abstract: Individual differences in measures of prereading skills and in questionnaire measures of 4–5-year-old twins' print environments in Australia, Scandinavia, and the United States were explored with abehavioral-genetic design. Modest phenotypic correlations were found between environmental measures and the twins' print knowledge, general verbal ability, and phoneme awareness. Lower print knowledge in Scandinavian twins was related to country differences in preschool print environment. Latent-trait behavioral-genetic analyses indicated very strong shared-environment influences on individual differences in Print Knowledge. Genetic influence was also significant. Several other prereading skills varied in their environmental and genetic influence, including a significant contrast between Phonological Awareness and Print Knowledge. Rapid Naming also revealed very strong genetic influence, as did Verbal Memory. Stronger shared-environment influences were found for Vocabulary and Grammar/Morphology. Genetic and environmental correlations among latent traits for General Verbal Ability, Phonological Awareness, and Print Knowledge were high, but there were also significant independent genetic and environmental contributions to each skill. Practical implications include the need for substantial and sustained instructional support for children hampered by genetic constraints on early literacy development.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(4), p. 705-722
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0022-0663
Field of Research (FOR): 170103 Educational Psychology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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