Does genetic background moderate the association between parental education and school achievement?


L. Keltikangas-Järvinen, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, PO Box 9, FIN-00014, Finland. E-mail:


This study was conducted with a purpose to examine whether the T102C polymorphism of the serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A) gene moderates the association between parental education and children's school achievement across nine compulsory school years. The study was carried out in a population-based sample of Finnish students (aged 9, 12 and 15 years, n = 982). It was found that the HTR2A gene was not related to the school achievement at any school level, but moderated the association between maternal education and the children's grade point averages. The T/T genotype carriers benefited most from high-maternal education, and suffered from a low one more than the carriers of the other variants of the HTR2A gene. The present finding may at least partly answer the important question why academic outcomes of environmental interventions vary even at the same intelligence levels of the students.