Wisconsin Twin Project (WTP) began with birth records
of nearly all twins born in Wisconsin since 1989. The
main goals of the research are to understand social-emotional
development, behavioral challenges, and behavioral adaptation
in the family context. Areas of interest include challenges
and risk factors as well as adaptive processes and competencies
that contribute to child development.
Families are contacted at three times: toddlerhood
(age 2-3), preschool (4-6), school age
(12-13), and late adolescence (13 and older). We have also begun our new twin brain imaging study for those who have completed the late adolescence phase. Families are contacted by phone and invited
to participate in a variety of ways, sometimes only
a phone interview, sometimes mailed questionnaires,
and sometimes a home visit. (See the specific age studies
for more details.)
Twin research provides a unique opportunity to examine
individual differences and genetic and environmental
influences on child development. The results should
improve understanding of how child behaviors develop
from toddlerhood through adolescence. Results may provide
insight to questions such as these: (1) do shy toddlers
develop into shy adolescents? (2) what factors lead
to behaviors related to ADHD? and (3) how do cognition
and emotion influence development?
The Wisconsin Twin Project is located in the Waisman
Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Waisman
Center's mission is to advance knowledge about human
development and developmental disabilities (although
the Wisconsin Twin Project itself is not centrally concerned
with developmental disabilities).
Major funding for the twin project is provided by
grants from the National Institute of Health.