Ally Avery

Genetic and environmental variation in educational attainment: an individual-based analysis of 28 twin cohorts

Silventoinen K, Jelenkovic A, Sund R, et al. We investigated the heritability of educational attainment and how it differed between birth cohorts and cultural-geographic regions. A classical twin design was applied to pooled data from 28 cohorts representing 16 countries and including 193,518 twins with information on educational attainment at 25 years of age or […]

Evaluating and Applying Google Timeline Location Data for Built Environment and Physical Activity Research

PI: Perry HystadProject number: R21ES031226Project dates: 7/17/2020-6/30/2021 Built environments directly influence health, for example through air pollution and noise exposures, and indirectly influence health through changing health-related behaviors, for which physical activity is a major contributor. Nearly all epidemiology studies examining the relationships between long-term built environment related exposures and health have relied solely on […]

COVID-19 Follow-up Update #3

In the follow-up survey, we asked participants to self-report the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) they had in the past two week. We wondered if the amount of exercise people are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with several mental health indicators.

Affectionate Communication findings

We are happy to share that a manuscript using data from the affectionate communication study has been published. Within twin pairs, identical twins were more highly correlated for expressed and received affection than fraternal twins, suggesting genetic influences play a role in affection. Using an ACE model, which is used in twin studies to estimate […]

COVID-19 Follow-up Update #2

In the follow-up survey, we were interested in whether the number of individuals in a household during lock-down/shelter-in-place has an effect on people’s mental health status. We were particularly curious about whether individuals with children are more worried during this unprecedented time.

Staff Scientist

Siny Tsang, PhD Publications

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Research Assistant

Shelby Tarutis, MPH, 425-405-1766 Shelby Tarutis studied biochemistry and literature at The Evergreen State College (BS, 1976) and received her Master of Public Health in Health Services from the University of Washington (1996).  She received a Certificate in Executive Development from the UW Foster School of Business (2018).  She has experience with coordinating research […]

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Assistant Director

Elizabeth Blue, PhD, 206-685-4666 Dr. Blue studied Economics and Anthropology at Indiana University (BS, 2003), and Anthropology at the University of Utah (MS, 2005; Ph.D., 2008). Her graduate work focused on the principles of evolutionary and population genetics. She pursued training in statistical genetics as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington (2008). […]

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Glen Duncan, PhD Dr. Duncan’s academic training is in physical education (BS, 1992, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania) and exercise physiology (MS, 1994, Ball State University; PhD, 1997, University of Tennessee). Following graduate school, he completed postdoctoral research training (1998-2002) and then joined the faculty at the University of Florida (2002-2003), both in the Department […]

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Scientific Operations Manager

Ally Avery, MS, 425-405-1765 Ms. Avery studied sociology at Western Washington University (BA, 2009) and received her Master of Science in Data Science from Northwestern University (2016). She has experience with all aspects of twin studies, including grant, budget, and protocol development, building and maintaining study databases, data collection, and data analysis.   Publications

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Associations between changes in resilient coping and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms

Sinclair VG, Adams SM, Dietrich M. The pervasive, damaging nature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) presents enormous clinical challenges. Understanding the relationship between patients’ perceptions of PTSD symptoms and resilient coping strategies may prompt investigation of clinical interventions that improve adaptive, resilient coping skills. In this study, we examined whether changes in resilient coping were […]

COVID-19 Fear of Crime

The purpose of this survey study is to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding social restrictions in place on the daily life and feelings of WSTR twin pairs. Given the widespread statewide social restrictions put in place, it is possible that people’s perceptions and normal interactions within their neighborhoods may have changed. […]

COVID-19 Follow-up Update #1

Purpose of the study In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding social restrictions to society, we followed up with a sample of our participants to see how they are impacted by the recent events. We would like to thank the WSTR twins for their participation and continued support of the […]

COVID Baseline Update #4

In our recent COVID-19 survey, we asked participants several questions about their exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Most participants reported not having been diagnosed with COVID-19, with very few participants reported having household and/or family members diagnosed with COVID-19. However, 42.69% participants reported knowing at least one friend (and/or classmate) who was diagnosed with COVID-19. More […]

Heritability of affectionate communication: A twins study

Floyd K, York C, Ray CD. Using a twin study design, we explored the extent to which affectionate communication is a heritable behavioral trait. Participants (N = 928) were 464 adult twin pairs (229 monozygotic, 235 dizygotic) who provided data on their affectionate communication behaviors. Through ACE modeling, we determined that approximately 45% of the variance in trait expressed […]

COVID baseline update #3

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many social restrictions have been put in place in the hopes to slow down the spread of the virus. As a result, many of us have had to make changes in our daily lives accordingly. We examined whether self-perceived change in the amount of physical activity and sleep is […]

COVID baseline update #2

We were interested in examining the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic affects mental health. Participants were asked to respond to a number of survey items designed to assess depression, stress, and anxiety.

Neighborhood Deprivation Moderates Shared and Unique Environmental Influences on Hazardous Drinking: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Co-Twin Study

Rhew IC, Fleming CB, Tsang S, Horn E, Kosterman R, Duncan GE. Background There has been increased interest in the interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the development of problematic alcohol use, including socioeconomic conditions of the neighborhood. Using a co-twin design, we examined the extent to which contributions of genetic, shared environmental, and […]

COVID-19 Intensive Data Collection

This research study is being done to examine the impact of COVID-19 on daily activities such as sleep and physical activity. In addition to the risk of COVID-19 infection, statewide restrictions such as stay-at-home orders have resulted in drastic impacts to people’s daily lives. We will collect one week of data 10 times over a […]