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The 2nd Annual John F. Greden, M.D., Scholar in Residence Lecture

Avshalom Caspi, Ph.D.

“Young Children's Self-control and the Health and Wealth of their Nation”
Policy-makers are considering large-scale early intervention programs to enhance children's self-control, with the aim of reducing crime and improving citizens' health and wealth. Experimental studies and economic analyses are suggesting that such programs could reap benefits for a nation. Yet, how important is childhood self-control for the health, wealth, and public safety of the adult population? Could early interventions enhancing the population's self-control skills reduce taxpayer costs of crime control, health care, and old-age dependency?  This talk will review evidence from a number of population-representative cohort studies and discuss the implications of their findings.


Dr. Caspi is the Edward M. Arnett Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. His research spans the fields of psychology, epidemiology, and genetics. His current work is concerned with three broad questions:

  • How do childhood experiences shape the course of health inequalities across the life span?
  • How do genetic differences between people shape the way they respond to their environments?
  • What are the best ways to assess and measure personality differences between people?

Dr. Caspi’s recent honors include a A.W. Mellon Visiting Fellowship at the University of Capetown, South Africa, the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for Productive Youth Development, and the NARSAD Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Childhood Psychiatric Disorders.


The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The University of Michigan Depression Center is an approved provider with the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative and the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for social workers and psychologists for 1.5 CE Clock Hours. Approved Provider Number for social work: MICEC-0063. The University of Michigan Depression Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.