Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 34 (1), 59-65

Developmental Dyscalculia Is a Familial Learning Disability


Developmental Dyscalculia Is a Familial Learning Disability

R S Shalev et al. J Learn Disabil.


Whereas current evidence attests to a genetic component in the etiology of dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), little is known about the role of genetics in developmental dyscalculia (DC). The objective of this study was to determine the familial aggregation of DC. Siblings and parents of children with DC were assessed for arithmetic, reading and attention disorders. The criteria for DC were an IQ higher than 85, poor performance in arithmetic, and a significant discrepancy between arithmetic achievement and IQ. The study group was composed of 39 children with DC, 21 mothers, 22 fathers, 90 siblings, and 16 second-degree relatives. We found that 66% of mothers, 40% of fathers, 53% of siblings, and 44% of second-degree relatives had DC. The intraclass correlation between the sib pairs was .27. A 95% confidential interval (CI) for the prevalence of DC among siblings of DC probands (see Note 1) ranged from 40% to 64%, indicating a familial prevalence almost tenfold higher than expected for the general population. IQ and attention problems were not risk factors for DC. We conclude that DC, like other learning disabilities, has a significant familial aggregation, suggesting a role for genetics in the evolution of this disorder.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 15 PubMed Central articles

  • The Diagnosis and Treatment of Dyscalculia
    S Haberstroh et al. Dtsch Arztebl Int 116 (7), 107-114. PMID 30905334. - Meta-Analysis
    Symptom-specific interventions involving the training of specific mathematical content yield the best results. There is still a need for high-quality intervention trials …
  • Prevalence of Mathematical and Visuospatial Learning Disabilities in Patients With Posterior Cortical Atrophy
    ZA Miller et al. JAMA Neurol 75 (6), 728-737. PMID 29630699.
    Nonlanguage mathematical and visuospatial LDs were associated with focal, visuospatial predominant neurodegenerative clinical syndromes. This finding supports the hypothe …
  • Specific Learning Disability in Mathematics: A Comprehensive Review
    N Soares et al. Transl Pediatr 7 (1), 48-62. PMID 29441282. - Review
    Math skills are necessary for success in the childhood educational and future adult work environment. This article reviews the changing terminology for specific learning …
  • How Math Anxiety Relates to Number-Space Associations
    C Georges et al. Front Psychol 7, 1401. PMID 27683570.
    Given the considerable prevalence of math anxiety, it is important to identify the factors contributing to it in order to improve mathematical learning. Research on math …
  • Developmental Dyscalculia
    K Kucian et al. Eur J Pediatr 174 (1), 1-13. PMID 25529864. - Review
    In the current review, we are going to give an overview about typical and atypical development of numerical abilities at the behavioural and neuronal level. Furthermore, …
See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources