Parental education is a strong predictor of socioeconomic status and children’s educational environment.
Nevertheless, some children continue to experience reading failure in spite of high parental education and support for learning to read.
University of Colorado at Boulder psychologists Angela Friend, John C. DeFries and Richard K. Olson examined if genetic and environmental influences on reading disability, the most commonly identified learning disability, interact with level of parental education.
In this study, 545 pairs of identical and fraternal twins were selected wherein at least one of the twins in each pair had a reading disability.
In addition, the researchers obtained information about the parents’ years of education.
The results, described in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, showed that there was a significant interaction between parents’ years of education and the heritability of reading disability.
Children whose parents had higher levels of education tended to have stronger genetic influence on their reading disability than children whose parents had lower levels of education.
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