Washington DC: Genetic factors play an important role in the academic performance of kids. A new study explains the substantial influence genes have on academic success, from the start of elementary school to the last day of high school.
For many years, research has linked educational achievement to life trajectories, such as occupational status, health or happiness. However, if performing well in school predicts better life outcomes, what predicts how well someone will do throughout school?
Psychology postdoctoral Margherita Malanchini, said, "Around two-thirds of individual differences in school achievement are explained by differences in children's DNA. But less is known about how these factors contribute to an individual's academic success over time."
Researchers found educational achievement to be highly stable throughout schooling, meaning that most students who started off well in primary school continued to do well until graduation.
Genetic factors explained about 70 per cent of this stability, while the twins shared environment contributed to about 25 per cent, and their non-shared environment, such as different friends or teachers, contributed to the remaining 5 per cent.
"Academic achievement is driven by a range of cognitive and noncognitive traits," Malanchini said. "Previously, studies have linked it to personality, behavioral problems, motivation, health and many other factors that are partly heritable."
However, at times grades did change, such as a drop in grades between primary and secondary school. Those changes, researchers said, can be explained largely by nonshared environmental factors.
The full findings are present in the journal- Science of Learning.