Main focus

In order to take a close look at the development of social inequalities, TwinLife does not only examine different etiological factors, but also different indicators of personal and social success and failure respectively.

The illustration below gives an overview regarding the relevant characteristics. On part of the conditional factors (left) genetic disposition as well as aspects of the environment that the children and adolescents are living in are considered. On part of the causes (right) not only objective but also subjective information concerning the individual background is observed. Here, for example, education and the entry into the labor market as well as the participation in social, cultural and political life and the subjectively perceived quality of life will be examined.

Children are born into an environment which influences them, but on the other hand they react and interact distinctly depending on their individual characteristics and thereby shape their environment. To allow for an accurate examination of the reciprocal process of individual dispositions and environmental situations and conditions, the illustrated characteristics will be collected over a period of twelve years.

Main focus of TwinLife

Biological causes

With the help of identical and fraternal twins the impact of genetic differences on certain behavior can be determined.

Social conditions

Apart from biological characteristics, environmental characteristics such as, for instance, the socio-economic status (SES), family structure and environment, relations among family members as well as characteristics of the neighborhood will also be observed.

Education and academic performance

Here, motivation and level of education are examined in addition to cognitive abilities and their development.

Career and labor market attainment

This domain includes the perceived security of the workplace, job satisfaction, commitment to work, current occupation and current position as well as income or, if applicable, the receipt of social benefits.

Integration and taking part in social and political life

Here, characteristics of the social environment of every person such as the support through family, friends and spouses are examined. Furthermore, social and political commitment, social resources and the degree of perceived affiliation are of particular interest.

Quality of life and subjectively perceived quality of life

This category comprises a person’s emotional stability, self-esteem, global life satisfaction as well as his life satisfaction in specific areas.

Physical and Psychological health 

Physical and psychological health. In addition to quality of life, assessments of general health in terms of diseases, but also subjectively perceived impairments as well as information on health behaviors were covered in this area.

Behavioral issues and deviant behavior

Among other things, criminal or delinquent behavior as well as the degree of internalized and externalized problematic behavior will be surveyed in this domain.