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June

Genes Underlie both Academic Underachievement and hyperactivity

JUNE 03, 2007

Professor Robert Plomin and colleagues at the Institute and  Boston University have had a new study involving twins looking at the genes that underlie hyperactivity and under achievement at school published in the May/June Issue of the American journal, Child Development.

The link between hyperactivity and poor academic achievement is well documented but little understood.  Plomin and fellow researcher Saudino at Boston found a significant overlap between both hyperactive behaviours such as inattention and fidgeting and low academic achievement which remained after the researchers adjusted for a child's intelligence.  There are two possible explanations for the findings the researchers report, for one some of the same genes that produce hyperactive behaviour may also influence academic achievement. It is equally possible that hyperactive behaviour makes it more difficult for children to learn in school - and harder for teachers to teach them, the researchers added.

A copy of the paper is available in the May/June issue of the Child Development Journal.
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