Eligibility: All twins – identical and non-identical - aged 18-45 years (with or without mental health challenges).
People show differences in several characteristics, from personality traits, such as extraversion, to experiences and thoughts that may make some people prone to conditions such as anxiety and depression. In many cases, these differences are perfectly fine, and are the ingredients that make us unique as individuals. In some cases, they can protect against, or increase risk for, mental illness. However, the genetic and environmental influences on these different dimensions are not well-understood. Research involving twins provides a remarkable opportunity to understand the relative contribution of genes and environment to differences in dimensions of personality and mental health challenges, particularly those influences that are shared across, versus those that are specific to, different mental health issues.
These findings may have important implications for improved diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions in the community.
Participation in this research project involves two parts.
Part 1: Measures of resilience and risk for mental health challenges
You will be asked to complete several questionnaires developed to measure different personality traits, as well as the occurrence, frequency, and intensity of experiences and symptoms related to mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety, insomnia, low mood, body image concerns, substance use), as typically experienced in people who are not receiving extensive mental health treatment. For example, you may have felt low in mood or a little anxious at times, without seeing a doctor about it. We are interested in hearing about these experiences. Each question asks you to indicate the frequency or intensity with which you experienced a thought, feeling, or behaviour either typically or during a specific period (e.g. past 2 weeks). These questionnaires will take you approximately 90 minutes to complete, and are completed online using your mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. You can complete these questionnaires over multiple sessions within the same 7-day period.
Part 2 (optional): Daily experience sampling survey
For this part of the study we are interested in how people’s mood and stress levels change from day to day, the length and quality of their sleep, as well as their intake of alcohol and other drugs/medications. These daily fluctuations may be important indicators of resilience to versus risk for mental health challenges. The daily experience sampling survey takes 2 minutes and is completed every day for 28 days at 7:00 pm, via a link sent to your phone via SMS. Alternatively, if you do not have a mobile phone the link will be sent to you via email.
Prize draw and reimbursement for your time
All participants that complete Part 1 of the study will go into the running to win one of 100 32GB iPads [https://www.apple.com/au/shop/buy-ipad/ipad-10-2] valued at $499.00 AUD each. If you and your twin sibling both complete the questionnaire in Part 1 you will each receive a bonus payment of $25.00 ($50.00 total). If you and your twin both complete Part 2, the daily experience sampling survey, on at least 25 of the 28 scheduled days, you will each go into an additional draw to win an 32GB iPad.
Please note that TRA members are asked whether they would like to be identified by name and/or supply a photo should they be a prize-draw winner. TRA advises that study participants are under no obligation to do so, and their choice does not exclude them from taking part or the chance to win.
All twins aged 18-45 years, with or without mental health challenges.
If you are not yet a Twins Research Australia member you will also need to register online here.
Coming soon in 2021.