E-Risk Study

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The Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study — proposed in 1997 by Professors Moffitt and Caspi — aims to build knowledge around the question of how environmental and genetic factors contribute to the development of behaviors, health, and mental health problems from childhood through to adulthood. In 1998 E-Risk began by constructing a nationally representative 2-year birth cohort of 2,232 same-sex twins born in England and Wales in 1994-1995. Families were recruited to represent the UK population with newborns in the 1990s, to ensure adequate numbers of children in disadvantaged homes and to avoid an excess of twins born to well-educated women using assisted reproduction. The resulting study sample represents the full range of socioeconomic conditions in Great Britain; the families’ distribution is reflected on a neighborhood-level socioeconomic index (ACORN) that very closely matches the national distribution.

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