Twin classroom dilemma: To study together or separately?

White, Elaine K.; Garon-Carrier, Gabrielle; Tosto, Maria G.; Malykh, Sergey B.; Li, Xinying; Kiddle, Beatrix; Riglin, Lucy; Byrne, Brian; Dionne, Ginette; Brendgen, Mara; Vitaro, Frank; Tremblay, Richard E.; Boivin, Michel and Kovas, Yulia. 2018. Twin classroom dilemma: To study together or separately? Developmental Psychology, 54(7), pp. 1244-1254. ISSN 0012-1649 [Article]

twin classroom dilemma_prepublication copy.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (407kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

There is little research to date on the academic implications of teaching twins in the same or different classroom.Consequently, it is not clear whether twin classroom separation is associated with positive or negative educational outcomes. As a result, parents and teachers have insufficient evidence to make a well-informed decision when twins start school. This study addresses two research questions: Are there average positive or negative effects of classroom separation? Are twins taught in different classes more different from each other than twins taught in the same class? Twin pairs from two large representative samples from Quebec (Canada) and the UKwere evaluated across a large age range (7 to 16 years) onacademic achievement, severalcognitive abilities and motivational measures. Our results show almost no sizeable positive or negative average effect of classroom separation on twins’ achievement, cognitive ability and motivation. Twin pairs at age 12 (Quebec, Canada) and at age 16 (UK) were slightly more similar on achievement if placed in the same classroom, with
slightly greater similarity among MZ twins than DZ twins. However, the few effects found were weak,and it remainsunclear whether they result from classroom separation orother factors. These results suggest that in terms of educational outcomes, policy makers should not impose rigid guidelines to separate twin pairs during their education. The choice of whether to educate twin pairs together or separately should be up to parents, twins and teachers, in response to twins’ individual needs.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



9 January 2018Accepted
16 April 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2018 11:48

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:47

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)