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Wisconin Twin Project LogoChallenges and adaptations (WTP)  

Fraternal TwinsThe 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 (6-8), adolescence (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.


University of Wisconsin-Madison :: Department of Psychology :: Waisman Center
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Psychology Department, University of WI, Madison
Waisman Center, UW Madison