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Developmental Origins of Low Mathematics Performance and Normal Variation in Twins from 7 to 9 Years

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Claire M. A. Haworth*
Affiliation:
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, United Kingdom. Claire.Haworth@iop.kcl.ac.uk
Yulia Kovas
Affiliation:
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, United Kingdom.
Stephen A. Petrill
Affiliation:
Department of Human Development and Family Science, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America.
Robert Plomin
Affiliation:
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, United Kingdom.
*
*Address for correspondence: Claire Haworth, SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK.

Abstract

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A previous publication reported the etiology of mathematics performance in 7-year-old twins (Oliver et al., 2004). As part of the same longitudinal study we investigated low mathematics performance and normal variation in a representative United Kingdom sample of 1713 same-sex 9-year-old twins based on teacher-assessed National Curriculum standards. Univariate individual differences and DeFries-Fulker extremes analyses were performed. Similar to our results at 7 years, all mathematics scores at 9 years showed high heritability (.62–.75) and low shared environmental estimates (.00–.11) for both the low performance group and the full sample. Longitudinal analyses were performed from 7 to 9 years. These longitudinal analyses indicated strong genetic continuity from 7 to 9 years for both low performance and mathematics in the normal range. We conclude that, despite the considerable differences in mathematics curricula from 7 to 9 years, the same genetic effects largely operate at the two ages.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007
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