Document Detail

Comparison of academic performance of twins and singletons in adolescence: follow-up study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17012267     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether twins in recent cohorts show similar academic performance in adolescence to singletons and to test the effect of birth weight on academic performance in twins and singletons.
DESIGN: Follow-up study.
SETTING: Denmark.
PARTICIPANTS: All twins (n=3411) and a 5% random sample of singletons (n=7796) born in Denmark during 1986-8.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Test scores in ninth grade (age 15 or 16), birth weight, gestational age at birth, parents' age, and parents' education.
RESULTS: Ninth grade test scores were normally distributed, with almost identical mean and standard deviations for twins and singletons (8.02 v 8.02 and 1.05 v 1.06) despite the twins weighing on average 908 g (95% confidence interval 886 to 930 g) less than the singletons at birth. Controlling for birth weight, gestational age at birth, age at test, and parents' age and education confirmed the similarity of test scores for twins and singletons (difference 0.04, 95% confidence interval -0.03 to 0.10). A significant, positive association between test score and birth weight was observed in both twins and singletons, but the size of the effect was small: 0.06-0.12 standard deviations for every kilogram increase in birth weight.
CONCLUSIONS: Although older cohorts of twins have been found to have lower mean IQ scores than singletons, twins in recent Danish cohorts show similar academic performance in adolescence to that of singletons. Birth weight has a minimal effect on academic performance in recent cohorts; for twins this effect is best judged relative to what is a normal birth weight for twins and not for singletons.
Kaare Christensen; Inge Petersen; Axel Skytthe; Anne Maria Herskind; Matt McGue; Paul Bingley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Twin Study     Date:  2006-09-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  BMJ (Clinical research ed.)     Volume:  333     ISSN:  1756-1833     ISO Abbreviation:  BMJ     Publication Date:  2006 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-11-24     Completed Date:  2006-11-29     Revised Date:  2013-06-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8900488     Medline TA:  BMJ     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1095     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Danish Twin Registry, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark.
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MeSH Terms
Birth Weight
Educational Status
Gestational Age
Parents / psychology
Twins / psychology*
Comment In:
BMJ. 2006 Nov 25;333(7578):1080-1   [PMID:  17124200 ]
Republished in:
Ugeskr Laeger. 2007 Sep 17;169(38):3202-5   [PMID:  17915100 ]

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