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Author Notes:

Institute of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6, 60629, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. shing@psych.uni-frankfurt.de

We thank all members of the Jacobs study team for their vital contribution, and all participants and family members for taking part in the study.

Competing Interests: None.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

This work was supported by the Jacobs Foundation [grant 2014–1151 to YLS and CH] and conducted at the Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development. LR is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, RA 3208/1-1).

Keywords:

  • Social Sciences
  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Psychology, Developmental
  • Neurosciences
  • Psychology
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Memory
  • Hippocampus
  • Childhood
  • Longitudinal
  • Genetics
  • SOCIOECONOMIC-STATUS
  • LIFE-SPAN
  • EPISODIC MEMORY
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
  • CHILDHOOD POVERTY
  • BRAIN-DEVELOPMENT
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • BEHAVIOR
  • TRAJECTORIES
  • INTELLIGENCE

Stable longitudinal associations of family income with children's hippocampal volume and memory persist after controlling for polygenic scores of educational attainment

Tools:

Journal Title:

DEVELOPMENTAL COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

Volume:

Volume 40

Publisher:

, Pages 100720-100720

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF

Abstract:

Despite common notion that the correlation of socioeconomic status with child cognitive performance may be driven by both environmentally– and genetically–mediated transactional pathways, there is a lack of longitudinal and genetically informed research that examines these postulated associations. The present study addresses whether family income predicts associative memory growth and hippocampal development in middle childhood and tests whether these associations persist when controlling for DNA–based polygenic scores of educational attainment. Participants were 142 6–to–7–year–old children, of which 127 returned when they were 8–to–9 years old. Longitudinal analyses indicated that the association of family income with children's memory performance and hippocampal volume remained stable over this age range and did not predict change. On average, children from economically disadvantaged background showed lower memory performance and had a smaller hippocampal volume. There was no evidence to suggest that differences in memory performance were mediated by differences in hippocampal volume. Further exploratory results suggested that the relationship of income with hippocampal volume and memory in middle childhood is not primarily driven by genetic variance captured by polygenic scores of educational attainment, despite the fact that polygenic scores significantly predicted family income.

Copyright information:

© 2019

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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