Nature, nurture and peer effects


This project ended in September 2008.

The relative importance of nature, nurture and peer effects on adult outcomes

This is an ESRC-funded project, running from September 2006 to September 2008.

This project will develop a relatively underused aspect of the National Child Development Study (NCDS) and the British Cohort Study (BCS70) data sets, the data on twins. Previous work on these twins has been limited due to the uncertainty surrounding the identification of the twins as identical or fraternal. The project will correctly identify the twins using a set of standardised questions which will be addressed to the cohort members by post. The resulting data will be analysed using a behavioural genetics model to consider the relative importance of nature, nurture and peer effects on adult outcomes such as education, employment and income. Comparisons over time within the same cohort will assess whether and how these relative effects change over the life course. Comparisons between the two cohorts will reveal stability or change in these patterns for people born at different times.

Dr Denise Hawkes (CLS) is the principal researcher.