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ERIC Number: EJ796301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Why Do Preschool Language Abilities Correlate with Later Reading? A Twin Study
Harlaar, Nicole; Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E.; Dale, Philip S.; Plomin, Robert
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v51 n3 p688-705 Jun 2008
Purpose: Language acquisition is predictive of successful reading development, but the nature of this link is poorly understood. Method: A sample of 7,179 twin pairs was assessed on parent-report measures of syntax and vocabulary at ages 2, 3, and 4 years and on teacher assessments of reading achievement (RA) at ages 7, 9, and 10 years. These measures were used to construct latent factors of early language ability (LA) and RA in structural equation model-fitting analyses. Results: The phenotypic correlation between LA and RA (r = 0.40) was primarily due to shared environmental influences that contribute to familial resemblance. These environmental influences on LA and RA overlapped substantially (r[subscript C] = 0.62). Genetic influences made a significant but smaller contribution to the phenotypic correlation between LA and RA, and showed moderate overlap (r[subscript A] = 0.36). There was also evidence for a direct causal influence of LA on RA. Conclusions: The association between early language and later reading is underpinned by common environmental and genetic influences. The effects of some risk factors on RA may be mediated by language. The results provide a foundation for more fine-grained studies that examine links between specific measures of language, reading, genes, and environments.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A