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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 was founded and run by Professor Robert Plomin for 25 years, and is now headed by Professor Thalia Eley. 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, behaviours and mental health. 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.

Overview Publication:

Rimfeld, K., Malanchini, M., Spargo, T., Spickernell, G., Selzam, S., McMillan, A., Dale, P.S., Eley, T.C., Plomin, R. (2019). Twins Early Development Study: a genetically sensitive investigation into behavioural and cognitive development from infancy to emerging adulthood. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 22, 508-513. doi:10.1017/thg.2019.56


Peel, A. J., Purves, K. L., Baldwin, J. R., Breen, G., Coleman, J. R. I., Pingault, J.-B., Skelton, M., ter Kuile, A. R., Danese, A., & Eley, T. C. (2022). Genetic and early environmental predictors of adulthood self-reports of trauma. The British Journal of Psychiatry. doi:10/1192/bjp.2021.207

Gidziela, A., Rimfeld, K., Malanchini, M., Allegrini, A. G., McMillan, A., Selzam, S., Ronald, A., Viding, E., Von Stumm, S., Eley, T. C., & Plomin, R. (2021). Using DNA to predict behaviour problems from preschool to adulthood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13519

Rimfeld, K., Malanchini, M., Packer, A. E., Gidziela, A., Allegrini, A. G., Ayorech, Z., Smith-Woolley, A., McMillan, A., Ogden, R., Dale, P. S., Eley, T. C., & Plomin, R. (2021). The winding roads to adulthood: a twin study. JCPP Advances, 1, e12053.

Malanchini, M., Rimfeld, K., Gidziela, A., Cheesman, R., Allegrini, A. G., Shakeshaft, N., Schofield, K., Packer, A., Ogden, R., McMillan, A., Ritchie, S. J., Dale, P. S., Eley, T. C., Von Stumm, S., & Plomin, R. (2021). Pathfinder: A gamified measure to integrate general cognitive ability into the biological medical and behavioural sciences. Molecular psychiatry, 26, 7823-7837. doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01300-0

Waszczuk, M. A., Zavos, H. M. S., & Eley T. C. (2021) Why do depression, conduct, and hyperactivity symptoms co-occur across adolescence? The role of stable and dynamic genetic and environmental influences. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 30, 1013-1025. doi: 10.1007/s00787-020-01515-6

Hannigan, L. J., Pingault, J.-B., Krapohl, E., McAdams, T. A., Rijsdijk, F. V., & Eley, T. C. (2018). Genetics of co-developing conduct and emotional problems during childhood and adolescence. Nature Human Behaviour, 2, 514–521. doi: 10.1038/s41562-018-0373-9