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Familial resemblance for the Identical Blocks Test of spatial ability: No evidence for X linkage


The Identical Blocks Test of spatial ability was administered to subsamples of the two largest ethnic groups tested in the Hawaii Family Study of Cognition—Americans of European ancestry (171 families) and Americans of Japanese ancestry (98 families). Results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis of family data and correlational analyses provided no evidence to support the hypothesis that spatial ability is influenced by a major, X-linked, recessive gene. Thus it appears that recent failures to replicate the sex-linkage pattern obtained by Stafford (1961) are not due to differences in the tests employed. We suggest that alternative explanations should be sought for the well-known sex difference in spatial ability.

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The results reported here are made possible by collaboration of a group of investigators (G. C. Ashton, R. C. Johnson, M. P. Mi, and M. N. Rashad at the University of Hawaii and J. C. DeFries, G. E. McClearn, S. G. Vandenberg, and J. R. Wilson at the University of Colorado) supported by NSF Grant GB-34720 and Grant HD-06669 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The senior author also acknowledges support by NIMH Grant MH-11167.

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Corley, R.P., DeFries, J.C., Kuse, A.R. et al. Familial resemblance for the Identical Blocks Test of spatial ability: No evidence for X linkage. Behav Genet 10, 211–215 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01066271

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Key Words

  • familial resemblance
  • spatial ability
  • sex difference
  • sex linkage