Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

What Church Examination Records Can Tell Us about the Inheritance of Reading Disability

Ingvar Lundberg and Lars-Göran Nilsson
Annals of Dyslexia
Vol. 36 (1986), pp. 217-236
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23769416
Page Count: 20
  • More info
  • Cite this Item
What Church Examination Records Can Tell Us about the Inheritance of Reading Disability
Preview not available

Abstract

Long before the establishment of a general school system in Sweden (1842), a vast majority of the adult population had reached some reasonable level of reading literacy. The level of reading skill among the members of a household was assessed by the parish priest at annual catechetical examinations, and the results of these examinations were recorded in church registers. Eventually (in the 18th century) a 5-point grading scale was developed. In the present investigation, these unique records were used to study the transmission of low reading marks over successive generations in 17 families. For comparison, a set of 17 family trees originating from good readers was traced. The average scores of the descendants of poor readers were significantly lower than corresponding scores for descendants of good readers. However, the transmission patterns in the family trees of poor readers did not indicate any simple genetic mechanism. In another study, two dyslexic cases living today were traced backward to ancestors born around 1750. In one of the cases, a massive familial pattern of reading disability down to the eighth generation was observed, while most ancestors of the other case had average or above average reading skill as judged by the priests. The reasons for the absence of a simple hereditary pattern were critically discussed.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
217
    217
  • Thumbnail: Page 
218
    218
  • Thumbnail: Page 
219
    219
  • Thumbnail: Page 
220
    220
  • Thumbnail: Page 
221
    221
  • Thumbnail: Page 
222
    222
  • Thumbnail: Page 
223
    223
  • Thumbnail: Page 
224
    224
  • Thumbnail: Page 
225
    225
  • Thumbnail: Page 
226
    226
  • Thumbnail: Page 
227
    227
  • Thumbnail: Page 
228
    228
  • Thumbnail: Page 
229
    229
  • Thumbnail: Page 
230
    230
  • Thumbnail: Page 
231
    231
  • Thumbnail: Page 
232
    232
  • Thumbnail: Page 
233
    233
  • Thumbnail: Page 
234
    234
  • Thumbnail: Page 
235
    235
  • Thumbnail: Page 
236
    236