GESIS - DBK - ZA6701

ZA6701: TwinLife

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  • ZA6701_fb_cati1.pdf (Questionnaire) 16 MBytes
  • ZA6701_fb_f2f1.pdf (Questionnaire) 19 MBytes
  • ZA6701_fb_f2f2.pdf (Questionnaire) 5 MBytes


  • ZA6701_cod_wid1.pdf (Codebook) 4 MBytes
  • ZA6701_cod_wid2.pdf (Codebook) 1 MByte
  • ZA6701_cod_wid3.pdf (Codebook) 4 MBytes

Other Documents

  • ZA6701_changes_in_v4-0-0.xlsx (Other Document) 14 KBytes
  • ZA6701_longitudinal_overview.xlsx (Table) 77 KBytes
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Bibliographic Citation

Citation Citation Diewald, Martin; Riemann, Rainer; Spinath, Frank M.; Gottschling, Juliana; Hahn, Elisabeth; Kornadt, Anna E.; Kottwitz, Anita; Mönkediek, Bastian; Schulz, Wiebke; Schunck, Reinhard; Baier, Tina; Bartling, Annika; Baum, Myriam A.; Eichhorn, Harald; Eifler, Eike F.; Hufer, Anke; Kaempfert, Merit; Klatzka, Christoph H.; Krell, Kristina; Lang, Volker; Lenau, Franziska; Nikstat, Amelie; Peters, Anna-Lena; Weigel, Lena (2020): TwinLife. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA6701 Data file Version 4.0.0,
Study No.ZA6701
Current Version4.0.0, 2020-5-29,
Date of Collection01.10.2014 - 30.06.2018
Principal Investigator/ Authoring Entity, Institution
  • Diewald, Martin - Universität Bielefeld
  • Riemann, Rainer - Universität Bielefeld
  • Spinath, Frank M. - Universität des Saarlandes
  • Gottschling, Juliana - Universität des Saarlandes
  • Hahn, Elisabeth - Universität des Saarlandes
  • Kornadt, Anna E. - Universität Bielefeld
  • Kottwitz, Anita - Universität Bielefeld
  • Mönkediek, Bastian - Universität Bielefeld
  • Schulz, Wiebke - Universität Bielefeld
  • Schunck, Reinhard - Universität Bielefeld
  • Baier, Tina - Universität Bielefeld
  • Bartling, Annika - Universität des Saarlandes
  • Baum, Myriam A. - Universität des Saarlandes
  • Eichhorn, Harald - Universität Bielefeld
  • Eifler, Eike F. - Universität Bielefeld
  • Hufer, Anke - Universität Bielefeld
  • Kaempfert, Merit - Universität Bielefeld
  • Klatzka, Christoph H. - Universität des Saarlandes
  • Krell, Kristina - Universität Bielefeld
  • Lang, Volker - Universität Bielefeld
  • Lenau, Franziska - Universität des Saarlandes
  • Nikstat, Amelie - Universität Bielefeld
  • Peters, Anna-Lena - Universität Bielefeld
  • Weigel, Lena - Universität Bielefeld
Contributor, Institution, Role
  • GESIS - Distributor
  • GESIS - HostingInstitution


AbstractTwinLife is a 12-year representative behavior genetic study investigating the emergence and development of social inequalities over the life course. The long-term project began in 2014 and surveys more than 4,000 pairs of twins and their families in different stages of life on a yearly basis. All of the subjects reside in Germany. Not only social, but also genetic mechanisms as well as covariations and interactions between these two factors can be examined with the help of identical and fraternal same-sex twins. In order to document the individual development of different aspects it is important to examine the families extensively over the course of several years. Six important contextual domains are focused on: 1. Education and academic performance / skill development, 2. career and labor market attainment, 3. integration and participation in social, cultural and political life, 4. quality of life and perceived capabilities, 5. physical and psychological health and 6. behavioral problems and deviant behavior. In the following, the TwinLife Data are described in more detail by the life domains outlined above: 1. Skill formation and education 1.1 Educational success: - School report; if not available: supplementary questions - Current school marks or rather marks of highest graduation - School climate/student-teacher-interaction - Pressure and stress at school 1.2 Intelligence - Subtests Matrices, Series, and Classification - Subtests Matrices, Series, Reasoning, Classification 1.3 Cognitive development - General information derived from ´U-Heft´; if not available: supplementary questions - Interviewer rating on task orientation and oral skills following intelligence test - Tutoring and homework help/special educational treatment/attendance of special school - Competence rating of social skills, oral skills, concentration ability, communications skills, mathematic ability, general knowledge 1.4 Media use - Frequency and duration of media use (e.g., Internet, Laptop, TV, games console etc.) 1.5 Academic self-concept - Verbal and spatial skills, spatial and general - Verbal, mathematic, and general academic ability - Perceived competence 1.6 Intrinsic motivation, learning motivation, achievement motivation - Educational values of German, maths, and school in general - Learning and achievement motivation in German, maths, and school in general - Learning goals 1.7 Self-efficacy - General self-efficacy 1.8 Self-esteem - General self-esteem 1.9 Self-regulation - Consistency of interest, self-control - Gummy bear test 1.10 Personality - Neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness 2. Career and labor market attainment 2.1 Employment status - Current employment status/changes regarding employment 2.2 Education - History of education - Education and qualification - Educational and career aspirations 2.3 Information on current job - Perceived job security and satisfaction - Wages/income/welfare dependency - job-related burden (i.e. shiftwork) 2.4 Economic preferences - Risk aversion 2.5 Job autonomy 3. Integration and participation in social, cultural, and political life 3.1 Migration background and citizenship - Current status of citizenship and changes of citizenship - Migration 3.2 Discrimination - Experiences with discrimination 3.3 Social participation - Frequency of attendance in sports clubs, theatre, music groups or volunteer organizations 3.4 Social networks - Social capital of individuals, e.g., close friends, frequency of social contacts - Loneliness 3.5 Political participation - Interest in politics, political preferences, voting behavior 3.6 Religion - Religious affiliation, church attendance, religiosity/spirituality 3.7 Cultural capital - cultural participation, reading, clasical music - Availability of cultural property - Music lessons 4. Subjective perceptions of quality of life 4.1 Life satisfaction - Global life satisfaction - Domain satisfaction (health, work life, family life, leisure time, school, romantic relationship, friendships, income) - Satisfaction with sibling relationship - Optimism 4.2 Burden and stress - frequency of arguments with partner or parents - Stress regulation and coping - interfamiliar and extrafamiliar: subjective evaluation 4.3 Life Goals: importance and progress 4.4 Sensory-processing sensitivity 4.5 Bullying - in the childhood and adolescence 5. Physical and psychological health 5.1 Subjective health 5.2 Objective health and diagnosis - Measures of height and weight child´s medical records - Depression - Pregnancy - Puberty 5.3 Health-related behavior - alcohol consumption, smoking, medication, medical checkups - sexual behavior 6. Deviant behavior and behavioral problems 6.1 Internalizing - Emotional symptoms, problems with peers, social difficulties 6.2 Externalizing - Hyperactivity, attention problems, behavioral difficulties 6.3 Deviant and delinquent behavior - Occurrence and frequency of problematic behavior (e.g., fare evasion, skip school, drug use, thieving, property damage, physical assault) - Supplementary questions on e.g., impulse control and rebellious behavior - Short version of deviant/delinquent behavior measure 7. Demographics 7.1 Information on household - Household questionnaire (persons in the household, household grid, type of dwelling, income), information on assets 8. Environment 8.1 Activities with children - Occurrence and frequency of e.g., singing and making music together; story time; doing sports; cultural activities 8.2 Nursery - Detailed information on nursery and daycare institutions 8.3 Grand-parents - Relationship: contact frequency, quality of relationship 8.4 Parenting style - Monitoring, warmth, rules, negative communication, control (child and parent report on parental behavior) 8.5 Quality of home environment - Characteristics of a chaotic, disorganized, and hurried home - Interviewer ratings on the home environment (household) 8.6 Involvement - Autonomy, structure, control, emotional support 8.7 Sibling relationship - Warmth, conflict, rivalry of sibling relationship - Affection, hostility, rivalry of sibling relationship 8.8 Family stresses - Care burden on household level 8.9 Intentional level to achieve certain life events 8.10 Stays abroad 8.11 Information on twins´ children 9. Zygosity and twin specific items 9.1 Zygosity - Ratings of physical twin similarity in childhood (e.g., eye color, hair structure, time of getting first teeth) 9.2 Twin specific questions - E.g., same or different clothing, confusion of the twins, undertakings with twins
Categories Categories
  • Family
  • Society, Culture
  • Person, Personality, Role
  • Community, Living Environment
  • Education, School Systems
  • Political Attitudes and Behavior
  • Occupation, Profession
Topics Topics
  • 1 Labour and employment
  • 3.6 Post-compulsory education
  • 3.7 Compulsory and pre-school education
  • 5.6 Social conditions and indicators
  • 7.1 Drug abuse, alcohol and smoking
  • 7.8 Specific diseases and medical conditions
  • 11.5 Mass political behaviour, attitudes/opinion
  • 12 Psychology
  • 13 Social stratification and groupings
  • 13.3 Family life and marriage
  • 13.5 Equality and inequality
  • 19.2 Housing


Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
UniverseTwins and their families (Extended Twin Family Design, ETFD): Monozygotic and dizygotic same-sex twin pairs born in the following years: 1.) 1990 - 1993, 2.) 1997/1998, 3.) 2003/2004 and 4.) 2009/2010 (4 birth cohorts in two subsamples) + at least one biological parent (+ if possible the other biological parent, step-parent(-s), one sibling and the twins´ partners)
Analysis Unit Analysis Unit
  • Individual
Sampling Procedure Sampling Procedure
  • Probability: Multistage
Probability Sample: Multistage Sample
Mode of Collection Mode of Collection
  • Face-to-face interview: Computer-assisted (CAPI/CAMI)
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Computer-assisted (CASI)
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Paper
  • Educational measurements and tests
  • Recording
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Web-based (CAWI)
  • Telephone interview: Computer-assisted (CATI)
F2F1: Household interviews with the family via three different interview modes (Face-to-face interview: CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview), Self-administered questionnaire: CASI (Computer Assisted Self-Interview), and Self-administered questionnaire: Paper plus cognitive tests, scans/photos of certificates; interviews with family members living outside the interviewed households by two modes (Self-administered questionnaire: CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview), Self-administered questionnaire: Paper. CATI1: individual and household interviews by phone. F2F 2: Household interviews with the family via three different interview modes (Face-to-face interview: CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview), Self-administered questionnaire: CASI (Computer Assisted Self-Interview), and Self-administered questionnaire: Paper plus gummy bear tests, scans/photos of certificates.
Time Method Time Method
  • Longitudinal: Panel
Kind of Data Kind of Data
  • Numeric
Data CollectorTNS Infratest / Kantar TNS (first Face-to-Face household survey, parts of the first telephone survey); infas Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft (parts of the first telephone survey and subsequent data collections)
Date of Collection
  • 01.10.2014 - 31.05.2015
  • 01.10.2015 - 30.04.2016
  • 01.10.2016 - 30.04.2017
  • 01.10.2017 - 30.06.2018

Errata & Versions

VersionDate, Name, DOI
4.0.0 (current version)2020-5-29 see ZA6701_changes_in_v4-0-0.xlsx
3.0.02019-1-17 see ZA6701_changes_in_v3-0-0.pdf
2.1.02018-7-27 see ZA6701_changes_in_v2-1-0.pdf
2.0.02017-9-27 second half of sample added, various corrections
1.0.02016-11-3 first archive edition
Errata in current version
Version changes
Changes between version 2.0.0 and it's previous version
DateSubjectDescriptionCorrection Description
2017-9-27eca0105recode of 4 cases (9.8 to -98)2017-9-27
2017-9-27iva0901 - iva0905added to the SUF (interviewer assessment of type and condition of the house as well as residential area)2017-9-27
2017-9-27fpr0107further differentiation of the values 42: half sibling (mother is the same as twins) 43: half sibling (father is the same as twins) 44: half sibling (one of the parents is the same as twins, which one is unknown) 45: stepsibling (no parent is the same as twins) 46: adoptive sibling (no parent is the same as twins)2017-9-27
2017-9-27zyg0105, zyg0106also filled cohorts 3 and 4 with information2017-9-27
2017-9-27emp0500, emp0600, emp0700-emp0707, emp0900-emp0999, emp1000, emp1002, emp1100, emp1200, inc0100, inc0101, inc0200, spa0500-spa0504, imo0600-imo0602, imo0700correction of filter condition ("| emp0400 == 6" deleted)2017-9-27
2017-9-27fpr0103, fpr0104, fpr0105recode birth date to -94 in 1 case2017-9-27
2017-9-27eca0801change scale from 0 to 10 (previously 1 - 11)2017-9-27
2017-9-27inc0410correction of weighting mistake of household members (modified OECD scale)2017-9-27

Further Remarks

NotesThe data release consists of ten data files. One master data set: includes information on the gross sample, such as time stable variables (sex, year of birth, relation to twins, zygotie, migration background) and wave-specific variables (person type, response status) about all individuals included in TwinLife in each data collection. Three SUF data sets in person-format: There is one data set for each data collection (F2F 1, CATI 1, F2F 2). Each surveyed person has one data row. Three SUF data sets in family-format (one data set for each data collection): Each family has one data row. Two data sets (one in family and person format, respectively) containing additionally generated scales, e.g. on personality and parenting style for F2F 1. In addition, the data release contains a data file with the information of the twin zygosity assessment and a data file documenting the survey mode for each variable on the individual level in F2F 1. The data are adjusted for filter errors, i.e. data that was collected due to wrong filter conditions has been overwritten. Variables and instruments are documented at Detailed information on the study and special features can be found at For questions regarding the content of the data, please contact data(at) Charges for downloading this data will be paid by the TwinLife project, so the use of the data is free of charge!
Number of Units: 21930 Personen, 4097 Familien (Sample der ersten Erhebung)
Number of Variables: 2504 (Personenformat F2F 1 [wid1]); 610 (Personenformat CATI 1 [wid2]); 2254 (Personenformat F2F 2 [wid3]); 8287 (Familienformat F2F 1 [wid1]); 2780 (Familienformat CATI 1 [wid2]); 10612 (Familienformat F2F 2 [wid3])
Data Type: Stata, SPSS
Analysis System(s): SPSS, Stata


  • Hahn, E., Gottschling, J., Bleidorn, W., Kandler, C., Spengler, M., Kornadt, A. E., Schulz, W., Schunck, R., Baier, T., Krell, K., Lang, V., Lenau, F., Peters, A.-L., Diewald, M., Riemann, R. & Spinath, F. M. (2016). What Drives the Development of Social Inequality Over the Life Course? The German TwinLife Study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 19(6), 659-672.
  • Lang, V., Weigel, L., Mönkediek, B., Baum, M. A., Eichhorn, H., Eifler, E. F., Hahn, E., Hufer, A., Klatzka, C.H., Kottwitz, A., Krell, K., Nikstat, A., Diewald, M., Riemann, R. & Spinath, F. M. (2019). An Introduction to the German Twin Family Panel (TwinLife). Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik (published online ahead of print).
  • Mönkediek, B., Lang, V., Weigel, L., Baum, M. A., Eifler, E. F., Hahn, E., Hufer, A., Klatzka, C.H., Kottwitz, A., Krell, K., Nikstat, A., Diewald, M., Riemann, R. & Spinath, F.M. (2019). The German Twin Family Panel (TwinLife). Twin Research and Human Genetics, 1-8.
  • siehe außerdem:
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