APS Logo Kids diagnosed with ADHD may often report difficulties in math and reading tests as compared to those without the condition. A recent study claims that genetic and environmental factors influence ADHD behaviors, reading, and math skills. The findings can possibly benefit physicians treating ADHD children with such complications.

At the time of the study, identical twins with almost the same DNA were compared with fraternal twins, who generally only share about half of their DNA. According to the eye color or reading ability, identical twins are more alike on a trait and fraternal twins much less alike on the same trait. Therefore it can be assumed that the trait is inherited. In case pairs of identical twins are alike on a trait to the same extent that pairs of fraternal twins are, the trait apparently is influenced by their environment. It is known that most traits fall somewhere in between.

Pair of twins aged 10 years was tested on reading and math ability and their mothers had to fill in surveys on any problems the children have with attention or hyperactivity. Sara Hart, of the Florida State University, and colleagues observe that ADHD behaviors, reading, and math achievement are all influenced by the same genetic influences. If some psychological scientists are to be believed then, all three are associated through the working memory system. Common genetic influences may also be correlated with common environmental influences.

The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.