Dr. Juliana Gottschling


Building: A1 3, Room 3.14

Phone: +49-681-302-64238


Office hours: By arrangement



TwinLife is a 12-year representative behavior genetic study investigating the development of social inequality.

The long-term project will begin in 2014 and will survey more than 4,000 pairs of twins and their families regarding their 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 parameters can be examined with the help of identical and fraternal twins.

In order to document the individual development of different parameters it is important to examine a family extensively over the course of several years. Six important contextual points are focused on: Education and academic performance, career and labor market attainment, integration and participation in social, cultural and political life, quality of life and perceived capabilities, physical and psychological health and eventually behavioral issues and deviant behavior. The data hereby collected can give insight into questions concerning the development of social inequalities and will be made available to the scientific community. 

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Twin Study on Cognitive Ability, Self-Reported Motivation, and School Achievement

The German twin study on Cognitive Ability, Self-Reported Motivation, and School Achievement (CoSMoS) is a longitudinally designed study aimed at identifying the predictors of and influences on school performance in a genetically sensitive design (Spinath & Wolf, 2006). CoSMoS was initially conceptualized to be in consonant with the Twins’ Early Development Study (TEDS; Oliver & Plomin, 2007) in order to replicate results from TEDS in an independent German twin sample. To explore the underlying structure of the etiology of cognitive and especially non-cognitive predictors of school success, on the one hand, and to extend the knowledge about relevant family characteristics on the other, CoSMoS widened the palette of measures to different motivational constructs and specific environmental variables, as well as individual and familial characteristics (e.g. parental involvement and values).

CoSMoS was initiated in 2005 and encompasses three waves of data collection with a 2-year period between each measurement, allowing genetic analyses of the causes of stability and change in the variables under study. For details of the recruitment procedure through individual inquiries at registrations offices in two German federal states, see Spinath and Wolf (2006). Zygosity was assessed by questionnaire measures (Oniszczenko et al., 1993). 

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Twin Study on Personality and Well-Being

TwinPaW aims at investigating the relationship of distal (e.g., personality as measured by the FFM) and proximal (e.g., self-efficacy) predictors of (health) behavior as well as at studying the phenotypic relations between various personality and health behaviors. As such, TwinPaw targets the etiology the etiology of the relationship between personality (broad and narrow bandwidth) and health/well-being. Furthermore, the underlying structure of distal and proximal predictors of (health) behaviors can be investigated.

TwinPaW was initiated in 2005 and encompasses data of 163 identical or monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs (51 men, 112 women; Mage  37.1 years, SD  7.7) and 139 fraternal or dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs (16 men, 55 women, 68 opposite sex; Mage  36.9 years, SD  6.1). Zygosity was determined by questionnaire measures that typically yield accuracies in the magnitude of 95% (Price et al., 2000). All twin pairs were volunteers who did not receive any compensation for their participation. They were recruited by telephone or through an informational letter for a larger Twin Study on Personality and Wellbeing (Spinath & Wolf, 2006). The addresses of potential twin pairs (same birth surname, same birth date, and same birth place) were collected through individual inquiries at registration offices in two German federal states (North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia). A condition for participating in the study was that the twins had to have been raised in the same family.

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