NIH DNA study

Twins looking at each other

Who we are currently contacting for this project:

Twins involved in the Male Twin Study portion of the MTFS born between 1972 and 1982 are currently being contacted, along with their parents. Because children receive all of their genetic material from their parents, we are getting DNA samples from both parents and children to help us to determine how behaviors pass from parent to child. We are not choosing participants based on a trait that they may or may not have; instead, we are contacting every participant within the recruitment pool of that cohort.

Click here to read more about the specifics of participating in this study.

The Minnesota Twin Family Study’s link to DNA research.

Since we began our study 35 years ago, the MCTFR has focused much of its research on discovering what shapes the development of normal and abnormal psychological behaviors and traits. A major theme of this research has been uncovering whether traits are passed down from parent to child through genes or whether they are a result of the environment surrounding us*. Traditionally, we discovered answers to these questions through twin study and adoption studies that compare similarities between identical and fraternal twins and adopted and biological siblings, respectively. Through these comparisons we have learned a great deal about the genetic and environmental origins of human behavior. While we still use and have much to learn from twin and adoption study techniques, the successful mapping of the human genome now provides scientists with an exciting opportunity to build on these important findings. Your DNA sample, when related to the extensive behavioral information you have also provided, will lead to a better understanding of how and why genetic factors appear to shape human behavior.

Purple DNA Stock Photo

* A popular name for this type of argument is the Nature vs. Nurture debate, and the MCTFR has been involved in this debate since its inception. Read more about our research by going to the research page.