We hope to combine the findings from the SIBS study with the research we have been doing with the Minnesota Twin Family Study, as this will give us a more complete picture of the environmental and genetic influences on adolescent development. Unlike our twin studies, the SIBS study focuses on adoptive children who do not share their genetic blueprint with other members of their adoptive family. Accordingly, any similiarities between an adopted child and his/her genetically unrelated siblings must be due to similarities in experiences. Studying adoptive families allows us to further determine and describe the important environmental experiences children share apart from shared genetic influences.
It is also important to understand the experiences of biologically related families, which is why the SIBS study also inlcudes biological siblings. Unlike our twin families, our biological SIBS families have a sibling pair with an age difference, allowing us to better understand sibling influences on behavior- a research field previously untapped!