Memory Ability during Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence in the Colorado Adoption Project

Stephen A. Petrill and Sally-Ann Rhea

in Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early Adolescence

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195157475
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848065 | DOI:
Memory Ability during Middle                         Childhood and Early Adolescence in the Colorado Adoption Project

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This chapter explores memory ability in the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) at ages nine, ten, twelve, and fourteen. Although memory has been examined longitudinally in conjunction with other cognitive abilities, this chapter examines memory ability in CAP more systematically using isomorphic tests measured during the transition from middle childhood to adolescence. Given that heritability of memory may vary by the type of memory measure employed, the chapter first analyzes different aspects of memory through both phenotypic and univariate genetic analyses before exploring their longitudinal relationships. It is hypothesized in this chapter that like other cognitive abilities such as verbal ability, spatial ability, and perceptual speed, genes will be largely responsible for the similarity in memory across time while the non-shared environment will be largely responsible for the discrepancy between longitudinally assessed memory scores. The results show that the correlation between memory tests was driven almost completely by shared genetic factors while the discrepancy between memory tasks was influenced largely by the non-shared environment (and error).

Keywords: Colorado Adoption Project; memory ability; middle childhood; early adolescence; heritability; genetic factors; non-shared environment

Chapter.  4601 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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