Developmental origins of low mathematics performance and normal variation in twins from 7 to 9 years

Claire M A Haworth, Yulia Kovas, Stephen A Petrill, Robert Plomin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-17
Number of pages12
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Child
  • Comprehension
  • Curriculum
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Learning Disorders
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Twins
  • Wales

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