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The Genetic and Environmental Etiology of High Math Performance in 10-Year-Old Twins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stephen A. Petrill, Yulia Kovas, Sara A. Hart, Lee A. Thompson, Robert Plomin

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371 - 379
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

King's Authors


The genetic and environmental etiology of high math performance (at or above the 85%tile) was examined in a population-based sample of 10-year-old twins (nMZ = 1,279, nDZ = 2,305). Math skills were assessed using a web-based battery of math performance tapping skills related to the UK National Math Curriculum. Probandwise concordance rates and liability threshold models indicated that genetic and shared environmental influences were significant, and that these estimates were generally similar to those obtained across the normal range of ability and did not vary significantly by gender. These results suggest that the genetic and environmental influences at the high end of ability are likely to be continuous with those that affect the entire range of math performance across all children irrespective of gender.

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