Sara Hart, of the Florida State University, and her colleagues used twins enrolled in a long-term study of reading and math. Hart says by focusing on twins specifically, psychological scientists are able to tease out the difference between nature and nurture.
To do this, scientists compare identical twins, who have nearly the same DNA, with fraternal twins, who generally only share about half of their DNA. If identical twins are generally more alike on a trait—say, their eye color or reading ability—and fraternal twins are much less alike on the same trait, you can presume the trait is inherited.
On the other hand, if pairs of identical twins are alike on a trait to the same extent that pairs of fraternal twins are alike on that trait—like how outgoing they are—you know the trait is probably influenced by their environment. Most traits fall somewhere in between, and twin studies can show that, too.
In this case, Hart and her colleagues were interested in how twins matched up on symptoms of ADHD, reading achievement, and math achievement. At about age 10, every pair of twins was tested on their reading and math ability. Their mothers also filled out surveys on any problems the children have with attention or hyperactivity.
The researchers found that ADHD behaviors, reading achievement, and math achievement were all influenced by the same genetic influences; this doesn’t prove anything about what causes what, but some psychological scientists think that all three might be linked through the working memory system.
Although common genetic influences is a typical result from twin studies, the exciting aspect of this work was that that ADHD behaviors, reading achievement, and math achievement are also associated by common environmental influences.
Although it is not known what the actual environmental influences are, Hart and her colleagues suggest that it could be related to aspects of the classroom and homework environment. If researchers can figure out what these environmental influences really are, they may be able to help children with ADHD do better in school.
For more information about this study, please contact: Sara Hart at email@example.com.
The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article "Exploring How Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Are Related to Reading and Mathematics Performance: General Genes, General Environments" and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Keri Chiodo at 202-293-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keri Chiodo | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences