Application of hierarchical genetic models to Raven and WAIS subtests: a Dutch twin study

F.V. Rijsdijk, P.A. Vernon, D.I. Boomsma

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Hierarchical models of intelligence are highly informative and widely accepted. Application of these models to twin data, however, is sparse. This paper addresses the question of how a genetic hierarchical model fits the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) subtests and the Raven Standard Progressive test score, collected in 194 18-year-old Dutch twin pairs. We investigated whether first-order group factors possess genetic and environmental variance independent of the higher-order general factor and whether the hierarchical structure is significant for all sources of variance. A hierarchical model with the 3 Cohen group-factors (verbal comprehension, perceptual organisation and freedom-from-distractibility) and a higher-order g factor showed the best fit to the phenotypic data and to additive genetic influences (A), whereas the unique environmental source of variance (E) could be modeled by a single general factor and specifics. There was no evidence for common environmental influences. The covariation among the WAIS group factors and the covariation between the group factors and the Raven is predominantly influenced by a second-order genetic factor and strongly support the notion of a biological basis of g.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-210
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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