The Twin Early Development Study (TEDS) is one of the leading large-scale twin studies in the world. Starting in 1994, it has followed twins born in England and Wales throughout their childhood and adolescence and has now continued into early adulthood. Over 16,000 pairs of twins originally signed up for the study and more than 10,000 families remain involved to the present day. TEDS' main goal is to gain better insights into the roles of genes and environment in shaping who we are. The study is headed by Professor Robert Plomin, who is ranked among the 100 most influential psychologists. An overview of the project can be found here.
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 12,500 twins and are using them together with the rest of the data to better understand how genes affect abilities and behaviours. A parallel study has also been launched, 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. 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.