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Neuroscience - Pediatrics and Child Health - Science Policy

The Genetic and Environmental Foundation of the Simple View of Reading in Chinese
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Author: Connie Suk-Han Ho et al.

by Connie Suk-Han Ho, Bonnie Wing-Yin Chow, Simpson Wai-Lap Wong, Mary M. Y. Waye, Dorothy V. M. Bishop

The Simple View of Reading (SVR) in Chinese was examined in a genetically sensitive design. A total of 270 pairs of Chinese twins (190 pairs of monozygotic twins and 80 pairs of same-sex dizygotic twins) were tested on Chinese vocabulary and word reading at the mean age 7.8 years and reading comprehension of sentences and passages one year later. Results of behavior-genetic analyses showed that both vocabulary and word reading had significant independent genetic influences on reading comprehension, and the two factors together accounted for most but not all of the genetic influences on reading comprehension. In addition, sentence comprehension had a stronger genetic correlation with word reading while passage comprehension showed a trend of stronger genetic overlap with vocabulary. These findings suggest that the genetic foundation of the SVR in Chinese is largely supported in that language comprehension and decoding are two core skills for reading comprehension in nonalphabetic as well as alphabetic written languages.