Short description

TwinLife is a 12-year representative behavior genetic study investigating the development of social inequality.

The long-term project has begun in 2014 and surveys more than 4,000 pairs of twins and their families regarding their different stages of life on a yearly basis. Not only social, but also genetic mechanisms as well as covariations and interactions between these two parameters can be examined with the help of identical and fraternal twins.

In order to document the individual development of different parameters it is important to examine a family extensively over the course of several years. Six important contextual points are focused on: Education and academic performance, career and labor market attainment, integration and participation in social, cultural and political life, quality of life and perceived capabilities, physical and psychological health and eventually behavioral issues and deviant behavior. The so collected data can give insight into questions concerning the development of social inequalities and will be made available to the scientific community.


What is the current status?

Since the beginning of the study in 2014, a lot has happened! Meanwhile, the first household interview has been completed and the first telephone interview is in its final stage. Some families even are in the second survey phase of the household questioning already.

But besides, there is a lot to do for our TwinLifeteam! After the success of the Advisory Board meeting in December 2015, the next meeting will be in January 2018. It is always great to come together with all these people sharing the same passion for this project. In addition, we would like to get other scientists into our work on various conferences such as the DGPS (2016) in Leipzig or the BGA (2014) in Charlottesville. 

When we changed the research institute from the research institute “TNS infratest” to “infas” (German institute for applied social sciences) in June 2016, many interviewers were so enthusiastic about working with the families that they followed us to the new institute.

But we do not only consider the feedback of the interviewers and the scientists. We steadily receive many emails from parents who want to support and thank us. As we always aim to develop further and improve continually, critical feedback and suggestions are most welcome, too!