Dr. Sara Hart

Dr. Sara Hart
Stem Field
Psychology
Title of Research
Twin project on reading and math development
Description of Research Area

The overall goal of the proposed research is to uncover salient factors, including genetic and environmental influences, which contribute to the co-development of reading and math performance, at a critical developmental point (elementary school). We are currently recruiting for the first nationally-representative US twin sample, the National Project on Achievement in Twins (NatPAT). The NatPAT sample will comprise 7,668 pairs of twins located across the US, and will be uniquely situated to address the overall goal of the proposed research through four specific aims (SA). First, we will utilize a large national database of reading and math performance from schools across the country to ascertain the NatPAT twin sample. Using a cohort-sequential design starting in kindergarten, we will examine reading and math performance across elementary school in order to model genetic and environmental influences on reading and math (co-)development (Specific Aim 1). Second, we will model the genetic and environmental influences on the co-occurrence of reading and math difficulties, while also testing for sex differences (Specific Aim 2). Third, we will capitalize on publically available data to characterize the environmental contexts related to the (co-)development of reading and math performance (Specific Aim 3). Finally, we will capture important attitudinal individual differences dimensions and examine how they are associated with the (co-)development of reading and math performance (Specific Aim 4). The postdoctoral scholar will have a chance to write papers from this database, as well as papers using data from other related twin projects focused on reading and math development in school-aged twins. The postdoctoral scholar will have freedom to decide on the papers they want to write. There will also be opportunities for grant writing.

Special Research & Career Skills

I provide hands-on mentorship on advanced statistical analysis (including twin modeling), paper writing, grant writing, grant management, and lab management.