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The Project Talent Twin and Sibling (PTTS) study includes 4481 multiples and their 522 nontwin siblings from 2233 families. The sample was drawn from Project Talent, a U.S. national longitudinal study of 377,000 individuals born 1942–1946, first assessed in 1960 and representative of U.S. students in secondary school (Grades 9–12). In addition to the twins and triplets, the 1960 dataset includes 84,000 siblings from 40,000 other families. This design is both genetically informative and unique in facilitating separation of the ‘common’ environment into three sources of variation: shared by all siblings within a family, specific to twin-pairs, and associated with school/community-level factors. We term this the GIFTS model for genetics, individual, family, twin, and school sources of variance. In our article published in a previous Twin Research and Human Genetics special issue, we described data collections conducted with the full Project Talent sample during 1960–1974, methods for the recent linking of siblings within families, identification of twins, and the design of a 54-year follow-up of the PTTS sample, when participants were 68–72 years old. In the current article, we summarize participation and data available from this 2014 collection, describe our method for assigning zygosity using survey responses and yearbook photographs, illustrate the GIFTS model applied to 1960 vocabulary scores from more than 80,000 adolescent twins, siblings and schoolmates and summarize the next wave of PTTS data collection being conducted as part of the larger Project Talent Aging Study.


This article was originally published in Twin Research and Human Genetics, volume 22, issue 6, in 2019.


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