Diverging destinies: 'social' data within the TwinsUK cohort.
Bowyer RCE., Abbasian G., García MP., Anastasiou A., Lachance G., Thompson EJ., Hart D., Dowd JB., Steves CJ.
Background: Twins offer social scientists a unique opportunity to understand the interplay of social factors and physical and mental well-being. TwinsUK is the largest UK registry of adult mono- and dy-zygotic twins, but most of the research that utilises the cohorts' data to date has focused on the genetic underpinnings of complex disease. Methods: Following formal unstructured discussions with social scientists we identified key areas of research interest and annotated the historical data collections in TwinsUK where they could be applied to these research aims. Results: We present a summary of variables identified as of key interest to researchers from the social science sphere, spanning the following domains: 1: Parenting, child rearing and pregnancies; 2: Working habits and patterns; 3: Sleeping habits and patterns; 4: Social support; 5: Negative life events; 6: Spousal relationships. Conclusions: TwinsUK has a wide range of genetic and health data that would allow investigation of research questions focusing on these domains.