The present study examined the etiology of highreading ability in an overall sample of 350twin pairs in which at least one member of 100pairs (54 MZ, 46 DZ) had a reading compositescore one standard deviation above the sample mean. These highreaders also had significantly higher scoresthan the rest of the sample on Full Scale,Verbal and Performance IQ scores, as well as onmeasures of phoneme awareness, orthographiccoding, phonological decoding, and verbalshort-term memory. The MZ proband-wiseconcordance rate for high group membership wassignificantly higher than the DZ proband-wiseconcordance rate and further behavioralgenetic analyses corroborated that high readingability is partly due to genetic influence(h2 g = 0.55 ± 0.22). Bivariatemultiple regression analyses demonstrated thathigh phonological awareness, orthographiccoding, phonological decoding, and short-termverbal memory skills all share significantcommon genetic influence with high readingability. These results suggest that readingability and its cognitive correlates are on acontinuous distribution, with both extremes ofthe distribution being similarly heritable. They also support the hypothesis that the samecognitive processes that are associated withdyslexia are important for the development ofhigh reading ability.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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