In this study
we are testing identical and fraternal twins between the
ages of 4 and 10 because they can help us understand important
genetic and environmental influences on early reading development.
These are very important years in literacy development,
and a better understanding of the various influences will
aid in the identification of children at risk for reading
difficulty and in the development of appropriate intervention.
The first part of the study occurs when
the twins are 4-5 years of age, during the year before they
are expected to attend kindergarten. This phase of the study
involves five one hour testing session over a period of
2 weeks. During these sessions the twins are tested on standard
measures that include:
- Visual Skills
The twins are also weighed and measured,
photographed, and rated by the testers as to whether or
not they are identical or fraternal. In order to confirm
this rating, a DNA sample is taken, using a painless procedure
which involves swabbing the inside of the cheeks with a
cotton swab. The DNA collection is voluntary, however, if
the DNA is collected, researchers at CU will inform families
about the results (whether or not the twins are fraternal
or identical) as a benefit of participation.
Follow-up testing is conducted near the
end of kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grade. During these
hour and 1/2 sessions twins take many of the same tests
administered previously, as well as new tests that measure
reading and spelling abilities. The fourth grade testing procedures include an increased emphasis on reading and listening comprehension.
In addition, parents and teachers are asked
to fill out questionnaires about the twins' attention, activity
level, and reading activities.
If you would like more information about
this research project, please contact