Twins Early Development Study (TEDS)
The Twin Early Development Study (TEDS) is one of the leading large-scale twin studies in the world. Starting in 1994, it has followed over 15,000 pairs of British twins throughout their childhood and adolescence and has now continued into early adulthood.
The study's main goal is to investigate how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of children, including their behaviour and cognitive abilities, and what kind of influence they have in later life. It is headed by Professor Robert Plomin, who is ranked among the 100 most influential psychologists in the field.
The twins were assessed at the age of 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and now we are carrying out a two-phase assessment at the age of 21 with over 10,000 active families. We have also launched a parallel study, The Children of TEDS, or CoTEDS, which collects data from the children of our now grown-up original cohort of twins to establish how different behaviours and traits are passed down through generations.
The twins and their families help our research by completing questionnaires and taking part in interviews about different environmental and individual factors that might have been influencing them throughout their lives. We have also collected DNA samples from more than 5,000 pairs of twins and are using them to better understand how genes affect abilities and behaviours.
TEDS' main goal is to gain better insights into the roles of genes and environment in shaping who we are. We hope that our scientific contributions will help families, teachers, policy makers and individuals themselves better understand the challenges we face when we grow up and how to deal with them in a more effective way.