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General Findings

Genetics, Reading, Math, and the School Environment

Dr. Stephen Petrill is a Professor of Psychology at The Ohio State University. Professor Petrill has been using twin designs and association designs to look at how genes influence the development of reading in children.

So far, the results of his work suggest that:

  1. Genes are important, even in early reading, but the environment is equally important.
  2. Genes tend to make reading similar over time. Environments tend to make reading different over time.
  3. Genes related to reading may influence the environment that children are exposed to.
  4. Genes related to reading problems also explain some math problems.

As the research progresses, we intend to identify how these genes and environments influence attention and brain function as well. Once we have this data, we anticipate having a better understanding of how reading, math, attention and brain function interact with one another.