Trouton, A., Spinath, F. M., & Plomin, R. (im Druck). Twins Early Development Study (TEDS): A multivariate, longitudinal genetic investigation of language, cognition and behaviour problems in childhood. Twin Research.
Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) focuses on the early development of the
three most common psychological problems in childhood: Communication disorders,
mild mental impairment and behaviour problems.
The TEDS twins were assessed longitudinally at 2, 3, 4 and 7 years of age
in order to investigate genetic and environmental contributions to change and
continuity in language and cognitive development; it is multivariate in order to
examine the origins of co-morbidity; and it uses a large sample in order to
study abnormal development in the context of normal development.
The twins were identified from birth records of twins born in the UK in
1994-96. More than 15,000 pairs of
twins have been enrolled in TEDS and the participating families are
representative of the UK. The
measures at 2, 3 and 4 years are administered by parents. At 7 years, children are assessed for language and cognitive
development using telephone testing, parents and children are interviewed about
behaviour problems, and teachers also assess behaviour problems as well as
academic achievement. One set of
findings is that the same genes largely contribute to both language and
cognitive problems and the same genes affect normal and abnormal development, a
result that suggests that general impairment may be a better target for genetic
research than specific language impairment independent of nonverbal cognitive
problems. DNA has been obtained so
far for more than 4000 pairs and is being used initially in molecular genetic
studies of language problems and hyperactivity.
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