Heritability across the distribution: An application of quantile regression

Jessica A.R. Logan, Stephen A. Petrill, Sara A. Hart, Christopher Schatschneider, Lee A. Thompson, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Laura S. De Thorne, Christopher Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a new method for analyzing twin data called quantile regression. Through the application presented here, quantile regression is able to assess the genetic and environmental etiology of any skill or ability, at multiple points in the distribution of that skill or ability. This method is compared to the Cherny et al. (Behav Genet 22:153-162, 1992) method in an application to four different reading-related outcomes in 304 pairs of first-grade same sex twins enrolled in the Western Reserve Reading Project. Findings across the two methods were similar; both indicated some variation across the distribution of the genetic and shared environmental influences on non-word reading. However, quantile regression provides more details about the location and size of the measured effect. Applications of the technique are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-267
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential heritability
  • Differential shared environment
  • Quantile regression
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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