Using DNA From Mothers and Children to Study Parental Investment in Children's Educational Attainment.


Journal Article

This study tested implications of new genetic discoveries for understanding the association between parental investment and children's educational attainment. A novel design matched genetic data from 860 British mothers and their children with home-visit measures of parenting: the E-Risk Study. Three findings emerged. First, both mothers' and children's education-associated genetics, summarized in a genome-wide polygenic score, were associated with parenting-a gene-environment correlation. Second, accounting for genetic influences slightly reduced associations between parenting and children's attainment-indicating some genetic confounding. Third, mothers' genetics were associated with children's attainment over and above children's own genetics, via cognitively stimulating parenting-an environmentally mediated effect. Findings imply that, when interpreting parents' effects on children, environmentalists must consider genetic transmission, but geneticists must also consider environmental transmission.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wertz, J; Moffitt, TE; Agnew-Blais, J; Arseneault, L; Belsky, DW; Corcoran, DL; Houts, R; Matthews, T; Prinz, JA; Richmond-Rakerd, LS; Sugden, K; Williams, B; Caspi, A

Published Date

  • October 27, 2019

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 31657015

Pubmed Central ID

  • 31657015

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cdev.13329


  • eng