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TwinLife - Genetic and Social Causes of Life Chances

A genetically informative, longitudinal study of the life course and individual development

TwinLife is a 12-year representative behavior genetic study investigating the emergence and development of social inequalities over the life course.

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

In order to document the individual development of different aspects it is important to examine the families extensively over the course of several years. Six important contextual domains are focused on:

1. Education and academic performance / skill development,

2. career and labor market attainment,

3. integration and participation in social, cultural and political life,

4. quality of life and perceived capabilities,

5. physical and psychological health and

6. behavioral problems and deviant behavior.


How do you get access to the data?

  • First TwinLife dataset can be obtained via the GESIS Data Catalogue:
  • It contains data from the first face-to-face survey for the first half of the full sample including 2,009 twin families
  • Variables and instruments are documented here:
  • A user contract is attached to this email


Find more information here.