The genetic-environmental etiology of cognitive school readiness and later academic achievement in early childhood

Child Dev. Nov-Dec 2007;78(6):1855-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01103.x.


Using a genetic design of 840 60-month-old twins, this study investigated the genetic and environmental contributions to (a) individual differences in four components of cognitive school readiness, (b) the general ability underlying these four components, and (c) the predictive association between school readiness and school achievement. Results revealed that the contribution of the shared environment for cognitive school readiness was substantial. Genetic effects were more important for the core abilities underlying school readiness than for each specific skill, although shared environment remained the largest factor overall. Genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental factors all accounted for the predictive association between school readiness and early school achievement. These results contribute to a better understanding of the early determinants of school readiness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aptitude
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition*
  • Educational Status*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / genetics
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Environment*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Twins / genetics*
  • Twins / psychology
  • Underachievement