The Longitudinal Israeli Study of Twins (LIST) Reaches Adolescence: Genetic and Environmental Pathways to Social, Personality and Moral Development

Twin Res Hum Genet. 2019 Dec;22(6):567-571. doi: 10.1017/thg.2019.94. Epub 2019 Oct 23.


The Longitudinal Israeli Study of Twins (LIST) focuses on the developmental, genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in children's and adolescents' social behavior. Key variables have been empathy, prosocial behavior, temperament and values. Another major goal of LIST has been to study gene-environment correlations, mainly concerning parenting. LIST includes 1657 families of Hebrew-speaking Israeli twins who have participated at least once in the study. Children's environment and their development are assessed in a multivariate, multimethod fashion, including observed, parent-reported and self-reported data. The current article summarizes and updates recent findings from LIST. For example, LIST provided evidence for the heritability of human values with the youngest sample to date, and the first genetic investigation of adolescents' identity formation. Finally, future aims of LIST are discussed.

Keywords: LIST; behavioral genetics; empathy; gene–environment correlation; parenting; prosocial behavior; temperament; twin relationships; values.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diseases in Twins / epidemiology*
  • Diseases in Twins / genetics
  • Diseases in Twins / psychology
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genetics, Behavioral
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Moral Development*
  • Parenting
  • Personality Development
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Personality Disorders / genetics
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Twins / genetics
  • Twins / psychology*
  • Twins / statistics & numerical data