Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

A Longitudinal Genetic Analysis of Low Verbal and Nonverbal Cognitive Abilities in Early Childhood

  • Thomas S. Price (a1), Philip S. Dale (a2) and Robert Plomin (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

By middle childhood, the same genetic factors are largely responsible for individual differences in verbal and nonverbal abilities, suggesting a genetic basis for general cognitive ability (“g”). Our previous work on verbal and nonverbal abilities throughout the normal range of variation during infancy and early childhood suggests that genetic influences show domain-specific as well as domain-general effects, implying that the switch to nearly complete domain-general effects occurs later in development. Much less is known about the genetic structure of low cognitive performance, although our previous work has shown that a composite measure of low “g” is highly heritable at 2, 3 and 4 years of age. We report the first multivariate, longitudinal analyses of low verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities (defined as the lowest 10% of the distribution) at 2, 3 and 4 years of age using data from 9026 pairs of UK twins assessed by their parents as part of the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). Domain-general genetic influences increased significantly from 2 to 3 to 4 years. Although the phenotypic polychoric correlation between low verbal and low nonverbal ability was similar at 2, 3 and 4 years (.36, .43, .35), the genetic contribution to the phenotypic correlation increased dramatically (.37, .47, .76), with a corresponding decrease in the comorbid influence of shared environment (.61, .44, .35). We conclude that for low ability, as well as for normal variation in ability, genetic “g” emerges during early childhood but is not fully developed until middle childhood.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      A Longitudinal Genetic Analysis of Low Verbal and Nonverbal Cognitive Abilities in Early Childhood
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      A Longitudinal Genetic Analysis of Low Verbal and Nonverbal Cognitive Abilities in Early Childhood
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      A Longitudinal Genetic Analysis of Low Verbal and Nonverbal Cognitive Abilities in Early Childhood
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Thomas Price, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 38 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 66 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.