NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1168776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Grammar Clinical Marker Yields Substantial Heritability for Language Impairments in 16-Year-Old Twins
Dale, Philip S.; Rice, Mabel L.; Rimfeld, Kaili; Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v61 n1 p66-78 Jan 2018
Purpose: There is a need for well-defined language phenotypes suitable for adolescents in twin studies and other large-scale research projects. Rice, Hoffman, and Wexler (2009) have developed a grammatical judgment measure as a clinical marker of language impairment, which has an extended developmental range to adolescence. Method: We conducted the first twin analysis, along with associated phenotypic analyses of validity, of an abridged, 20-item version of this grammatical judgment measure (GJ-20), based on telephone administration using prerecorded stimuli to 405 pairs of 16-year-olds (148 monozygotic and 257 dizygotic) drawn from the Twins Early Development Study (Haworth, Davis, & Plomin, 2012). Results: The distribution of scores is markedly skewed negatively, as expected for a potential clinical marker. Low performance on GJ-20 is associated with lower maternal education, reported learning disability (age 7 years), and low scores on language tests administered via the Twins Early Development Study (age 16 years) as well as General Certificate of Secondary Education English and Math examination performance (age 16 years). Liability threshold estimates for the genetic influence on low performance on GJ-20 are substantial, ranging from 36% with a lowest 10% criterion to 74% for a lowest 5% criterion. Conclusions: The heritability of GJ-20 scores, especially at more extreme cutoffs, along with the score distribution and association with other indicators of language impairments, provides additional evidence for the potential value of this measure as a clinical marker of specific language impairment.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A