Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study

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Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study 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 - Nations
England, Wales

Geographic coverage - Regions

Start date

Catalogue record last updated


Sample type
Birth cohort (twin design)

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 (2013 - 18 Years)


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

Cohort year of birth


Data access
Project proposal - see data access guidance

Genetic data collected

Linkage to administrative data
Crime and justice data
Environmental data

Additional information


Related themes
Covid-19 data collection, Biomarkers, Cognitive measures, Diet and nutrition, Education, Ethnicity and race, Sexuality and gender identity, Housing, Socioeconomic status and deprivation, Language and literacy, Loneliness and social isolation, Neighbourhood, Physical health assessment, Digital technology and social media, Victimisation and life events, Puberty, Work and employment, Parenting and family, Sleep problems, Social care - receipt

Key Papers

Reference paper
Teen-aged mothers in contemporary Britain.

Impactful papers using study data
Evaluation of the Persistence, Remission, and Emergence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Young Adulthood. doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0465

The epidemiology of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in a representative cohort of young people in England and Wales doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30031-8

Lonely young adults in modern Britain: Findings from an epidemiological cohort study. doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000788

Newbury JB, et al. Association of Air Pollution Exposure With Psychotic Experiences During Adolescence. doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0056

Medical Research Council
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
Jacobs Foundation
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
The Avielle Foundation
American Asthma Foundation
MQ Mental Health
Nuffield Foundation
Mental health measures timeline

Sweep name:

Cohort member age:

Data collection period:


Physical health measures:

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