Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Factors Partly Influence Differences In Language Development

Date:
May 17, 2005
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Data from a longitudinal study involving 4 -- year old twins has shown that genetic factors appear to influence individual differences in language development among children. Additionally, it was found that environmental influences on children's language development were unique to the individual, not to the shared environment. These results are a step towards understanding the specific genes involved in language development in children.

Genetic factors appear to influence individual differences in language development among children, at least in part, according to a study by British and American researchers. The study, which also found that environmental influences on children's language development were unique to the individual, not the shared environment, was published in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development.

Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry in London, the University of Oxford, and the University of Missouri-Columbia in the United States investigated both individual differences in language development in the normal range and at the low end of ability in 4 1/2-year-old twins.

They recruited participants as part of the Twins Early Development study (TEDS), a longitudinal study involving a representative sample of all twins born in England and Wales in 1994, 1995 and 1996. It is the largest twin study to investigate diverse aspects of language, including articulation, phonology, grammar, vocabulary and verbal memory in a group of children of the same age. Opposite-sex twins were included in the study in order to explore sex differences in genetic and environmental influences for each individual measure.

"Children differ in the rates in which they acquire language and in their linguistic ability," explained lead researcher Yulia Kovas, a PhD student at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. "Understanding the sources of this variation is an important part of forming a comprehensive account of language development."

The study findings, she notes, are consistent with previous research showing that differences between children in different aspects of language development do not seem to be uniquely dependent on genes or environment.

"The results are similar when only the low end of language ability is studied, with the possible exception of the two receptive measures," she said. "This similarity is consistent with the hypothesis that the same genetic and environmental influences are involved in shaping individual differences and differences in risk of a language-related disorder. If this turns out to be the case, it means that when genes and specific aspects of environments that affect language disability are discovered, they will be also involved in individual differences in language ability."

Study results also suggest that the same genes and environments similarly affect individual differences in the language ability of boys and girls.

"Establishing the role of genetic influences in diverse aspects of language is only a first step in providing a foundation and a motivation for molecular genetic studies to find the multiple specific genes involved," said Kovas. "Similarly, establishing the relative importance of environmental influences is just a first step toward future research to identify specific environments involved. As specific genes and environments are identified, we can begin to understand the complex mechanisms of development of individual differences in language abilities."

###

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 76, Issue 3, Genetic influences in different aspects of language development: The etiology of language skills in 4.5 year-old twins by Kovas Y, Hayiou-Thomas ME, Oliver B (Institute of Psychiatry), Dale PS (University of Oxford), Bishop DVM (University of Missouri-Columbia), and Plomin R (Institute of Psychiatry). Copyright 2005 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Genetic Factors Partly Influence Differences In Language Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517063228.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2005, May 17). Genetic Factors Partly Influence Differences In Language Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517063228.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Genetic Factors Partly Influence Differences In Language Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517063228.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins