ProjectK2ID-Twins – Early childhood education and care quality and child development: an extension study of twins

Basic data

Early childhood education and care quality and child development: an extension study of twins
6/1/2014 to 4/30/2017
Abstract / short description:
The project aims to extend the theoretical and methodological approach used in the SOEP-ECEC Quality Project, funded by the Jacobs Foundation, by taking into account genome-environment correlations and interactions in a sample of monozygotic and dizygotic twins (“TwinLife-Study”). A dataset will be created which allows to explore the following questions: To what extent is the child caring situation of twin families different to other families? To what extent does the ECEC quality experience accounts for the influence of shared – or in the case of twins in different (groups within) ECEC institutions – non-shared environment? To which degree are genetic propensities to adverse behaviours triggered or blocked by ECEC quality, and genetic endowments to positive development enabled (gene-environment interaction)? Does the importance of ECEC quality for genetically influenced child development vary between different types of families? To date, only the American Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Birth Cohort contains information on ECEC quality and child development with an oversample of twins. Due to variations in the ECEC context, findings based on American data may not be transferrable to the German and other European contexts. We therefore propose to collect measures of orientation, structural, and process quality of ECEC institutions for an extension sample of twins in the same way as we have been doing for children who are sample members of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). The twin cohort sample of five-year-olds is a subsample of the new TWINLIFE study, which is funded by the German Science Foundation. Mothers of the first cohort of TwinLife children will be interviewed in 2014 using some of the same measures as in the SOEP, which will allow us to pool the children with those in SOEP households. Linking ECEC quality measures with twins’ developmental outcomes and family background information will provide an alternative method to test the importance of institutional influences in early childhood in addition to family environment and genetic predisposition. In the long run, the new data will provide the basis for investigating associations of shared (and to a lesser degree non-shared) ECEC quality experiences for a wide array of life course outcomes later on during childhood, youth, and adolescence.

Involved staff


Institute of Sociology
Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Local organizational units

Institute of Sociology
Department of Social Sciences
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences


Zürich, Switzerland

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