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This project was funded by the NIH through the P50 Florida Learning Disabilities Research Center. More information about the project can be read in this publication about the project:
Taylor, J., Martinez, K., & Hart, S.A. (2019). The Florida State Twin Registry. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 22(6), 728-730.
The following is the grant abstract:
Reading problems are associated with issues including school failure and behavior problems that can negatively impact children's health and wellbeing. The primary focus of this project was to use a sample of twins from diverse ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds to accomplish the three main aims that will advance the field's understanding of varied reading problem phenotypes, the interplay between environmental influences and genetic risk the lead to reading problems, and genetic and environmental factors influencing comorbidity between reading and behavior problems.
For the first aim, measures from Florida's Progress Monitoring and Reporting Network (PMRN) on reading were used to analyze the twin's achievement in various reading constructs, creating classifications of reading problems to identify specific reading problems with significant levels of genetic influence. Behavioral, cognitive, and environmental measures of the school and home were additionally collected during this aim. This collection laid the groundwork for analyses on comorbidity between behavioral, cognitive, and reading problems, and additionally provided the necessary data to create composites of the general environment (e.g. home literacy environment, school resource level, socioeconomic status, etc.)
The second aim focused on the identification of gene-environment interplays that underly reading problems. Focus was placed on the identification of these interplays through the testing of moderation effects of the environmental factors from the first aim on the genetic and environmental influences associated with the reading measures.
The third aim provided a reassessment of various behavioral and environmental measures during years 3 and 5 of the project. This reassessment allowed for longitudinal analyses and comparison to be conducted, observing the codevelopment between reading and behavioral/cognitive measures, as well as analyzing how stability of environmental influences may impact the development of these constructs.