Inheriting a propensity for reading

Previous research has shown us that home literacy environment predicts children’s reading skills. But what we don’t have a clear picture of is why or howvan Bergen et al. provide insight into understanding the genetic vs. environmental factors of good readers. They demonstrate that parents who are good readers have children who are good readers, and that genetic transmission is likely stronger than environmental transmission (hey there, nature vs. nurture!). This isn’t to say that parents’ behavior is unimportant—rather, that genetics play a disproportionately strong role.
This study also identified a significant effect of the number of books in the home on the child’s reading skill (after removing the effect of heritability), though it was a comparatively modest effect. This “number of books” effect has been found in several other studies as well, and unfortunately has sent some folks down the path of assumption (don’t assume!) that putting more books in the home will directly impact reading skills (the data don’t show that). 
So—without jumping to intervention conclusions, this study simply helps guide future intervention studies and assists clinicians in understanding the factors behind student profiles, but doesn’t tell us what we need to do to help poor readers improve their skills.

See: van Bergen, E. van Zuijen, T., Bishop, D., & de Jong, P.F. (2016). Why Are Home Literacy Environment and Children's Reading Skills Associated? What Parental Skills Reveal. Reading Research Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/rrq.160