Genetic factor analyses of specific cognitive abilities in 5-year-old Dutch children

M.J.H. Rietveld, G.C.M. van Baal, C.V. Dolan, D.I. Boomsma

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Abstract

The genetic and environmental factor structures of intellectual abilities in 5-year-old Dutch twins were examined. Six subtests of the RAKIT, a Dutch intelligence test, were administered to 209 twin pairs. The subtests were categorized as either verbal or nonverbal. The genetic covariance structure displayed a two-common factor structure including specific factors to account for subtest residual variance. The correlation between the genetic Verbal and genetic Nonverbal factors did not differ significantly from zero. The shared environmental influence displayed a single-common factor structure. Unique environmental influences did not contribute to the covariance between subtests and were specific in origin. Estimates of heritability of the subtests ranged from 15% to 56%. Shared environmental influences were significantly present, but were modest in magnitude. The phenotypic data was best described by an oblique two-factor model. This model was not mirrored in the factor structures found for either the genetic or environmental covariances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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