Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study

Jump to Mental Health Measures

E-Risk is a nationally representative twin cohort study that aims to build a knowledge about how environmental and genetic factors contribute to behaviours and the development of mental health problems from childhood through to young adulthood. Through the years, data have been collected about many different topics, including mental health, obesity, asthma, school performance, criminal offending, violence victimisation, neighbourhood conditions, the family environment, and also biomarkers to investigate inflammation, gene expression, epigenetic DNA methylation, telomeres, and neuropsychological functions.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London

Geographic coverage
United Kingdom - England & Wales

Start date


Sample type
Cohort study

Sample details
The E‐risk sampling frame was two consecutive birth cohorts (1994 and 1995) in the Twins' Early Development Study (TEDS), a birth register of twins born in England and Wales. The sample was constructed in 1999–2000, when 1,116 families (93% of those eligible) with same-sex 5-year-old twins participated in home-visit assessments. The sample comprised 56% monozygotic (MZ) and 44% dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs; sex was evenly distributed within zygosity (49% male).

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 neighbourhood-level socioeconomic index (ACORN) that very closely matches the national distribution.

Sample size at recruitment
2,232 individuals

Sample size at most recent sweep
2,066 individuals


Age at recruitment
1.5 years - TEDS First Contact
5 years - E-Risk

Cohort year of birth


Data access
Contact study team

Genetic data collected

Linkage to administrative data

Additional information


Related Themes
Administrative data, biomarkers, cognitive measures, genetic data, loneliness, neighbourhood, personality measures, physical health, twin design, mapping and spatial data, COVID

Reference paper

Moffitt TE, E-Risk Study Team (2002) Teen-aged mothers in contemporary Britain. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 43, 727–742.

Medical Research Council
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
Jacobs Foundation
Economic and Social Research Council
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
The Avielle Foundation
American Asthma Foundation
MQ Mental Health
Nuffield Foundation
Mental health measures timeline
NO! That's fine
This website is using anonymised Google analytics to help us work out how to make it better! More details