Saturday, February 11, 2006

Genes influence reading skills

Psychology research:
Genetics can play a bigger role in determining a child's reading ability than teaching, an Australian researcher says.

An international study showed some children were born with "an unfortunate deal of the genetic deck" when it comes to reading skills, said study co-author Brian Byrne, professor of psychology at the University of New England in northern NSW.

No "magic bullet" of encouragement and tutoring would fully improve their reading abilities, he said.

Published in the latest issue of the British-based Journal of Research in Reading, the study showed the influence of parents reading to their children diminished significantly a year or so after they started school. ...

The research examined more than 600 pairs of identical and non-identical twins in Australia, the United States, Norway and Sweden from different racial and socio-economic backgrounds.

Byrne said bed-time stories early in a child's life, encouragement to read and remedial teaching would never totally make up for a child's genetic "bad deal".
I don't think that bed-time stories are really intended to make up for a genetic bad deal.

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