What’s New

Biologically, we all age. Joints get stiffer, arteries get thinner and eyes and ears just don’t gather information they way they used to. Based on their unparalleled collection of five decades of health data following residents in Dunedin, New Zealand, Duke psychologists Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi have devised a way to measure whether a person is biologically aging one year for every calendar year or at a faster — or slower — pace.  Listen here. read more about How fast are you aging?  »

This episode of Top of Mind with Julie Rose tackles new ideas about mental illness.  It discusses the use of psychedelics, indigenous practices, and also our team’s research findings, in an interview with Terrie Moffitt, among several other guests.  Listen here. read more about Thinking differently about mental illness »

Founded in 1780, the Academy honors excellence and convenes leaders to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and advance the public good. This year’s election of 261 new members continues a tradition of recognizing accomplishments and leadership in academia, the arts, industry, public policy, and research. Read more here. read more about Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences  »

A lifelong study of 1,000 New Zealanders finds that people who express vaccine hesitancy today had more difficult childhood experiences.  The Duke researchers who lead the study said the findings suggest that combating vaccine hesitancy will take more than catchy advertising.  Read more here. read more about Does vaccine hesitancy begin with mistrust in childhood? »

The internationally-renowned Dunedin Study celebrates its 50th anniversary this week, marking five decades of research impact around the world. The first Dunedin baby to enter the University of Otago’s Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study was born on 1 April 1972 and over the course of the following year a further 1037 babies became Study members.  Read more here and here. Happy 50th Birthday toast!     read more about Dunedin Study celebrates 50 years »

In 1923, lead was first added to gasoline to help keep car engines healthy. However, automotive health came at the great expense of our own well-being. A new study calculates that exposure to car exhaust from leaded gas during childhood stole a collective 824 million IQ points from more than 170 million Americans alive today, about half the population of the United States. Read more here. read more about Lead Exposure in Last Century Shrank IQ Scores of Half of Americans »

Preventing mental disorders in young people might reduce or delay the burden of dementia in older people, according to a new study.  Read more here. read more about Mental disorders may increase risk for subsequent dementia »

Measures to quantify changes in the pace of biological aging in response to intervention are needed to evaluate geroprotective interventions for human.  Read more here. read more about DunedinPACE, a DNA methylation biomarker of the pace of aging »

Professors Chuck Nelson and Dan Schwartz received the 2021 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prizes for pushing scientific boundaries within their disciplines to identify opportunities for improving children’s education and lives. Terrie Moffitt chairs the prize jury.  Read more here. read more about Recognizing Outstanding Research: 2021 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prizes »

Terrie Moffitt is the 2022 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Psychology.  Read more here. read more about Terrie Moffitt named 2022 Recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Psychology »

Hannah Went explains DunedinPACE and what it does.  Read more here. read more about A New Generation of Epigenetic Aging Clock »

2021 is the centennial year of Science News’ publication, so the magazine is posting articles on the last 100 years of research in various scientific disciplines. This one examines the last century of psychology/social science research. Our research on the prevalence of mental disorder and the use of p to summarise mental disorder histories appears in the section titled “Diagnostic Disarray.”  It’s in there with Watson, Skinner, Bowlby, Milgram, Zimbardo, Khaneman and Tversky, Franz Boas, Margaret Meade, and Case… read more about 2021 is the centennial year of Science News’ publication, so the magazine is posting articles on the last 100 years of research in various scientific disciplines.  »

Moffitt served on the panel producing the National Academy of Sciences 10-year research agenda for dementia. As the largest generation in U.S. history - the population born in the two decades immediately following World War II - enters the age of risk for cognitive impairment, growing numbers of people will experience dementia (including Alzheimer's disease and related dementias). By one estimate, nearly 14 million people in the United States will be living with dementia by 2060. Like other hardships, the experience of… read more about Reducing the Impact of Dementia in America: A Decadal Survey of the Behavioral and Social Sciences  »

CrimComics offers a new way to approach criminological theory by engaging students with impactful, highly visual illustrated texts. The July 2021 issue introduces students to developmental and life-course criminological theories, focusing on the works of Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi, Robert Sampson and John Laub, and our ownTerrie Moffitt. Read more read more about Terrie Moffitt Featured in CrimComics Magazine »

Riley weaves important insights about diagnostic practices and mental health research with his own life story.  Compelling reading!  Read more here. read more about Fascinating article by Alex Riley about the p factor, appearing in Aeon.  »

A multidecade study of young adults living in the United Kingdom has found higher rates of mental illness symptoms among those exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollutants, particularly nitrogen oxides, during childhood and adolescence.  Read more here. read more about 'Childhood Air Pollution Exposure Linked to Poor Mental Health at Age 18' »

Temi did a fun 20-min podcast to announce her talk in the King’s College London, Inst of Psychiatry’s annual research festival on 27 April.  It’s being promoted by Mental Elf, a UK NGO that disseminates information about mental health to the public. There is a 20-min podcast link below, and also a tweet if you care to help send it. The topic is: “What surprises we got by following 1000 people’s mental health for decades.” Soon there will be a blog as well, by professional mental health blogger, Dona Matthews. Very exciting… read more about Podcast: Surprises Found By Following 1000 People’s Mental Health »

We tracked age-related declines in multiple organ systems across 20 years and found that, already by midlife, those aging fastest showed cognitive declines, signs of brain aging, diminished sensory-motor function, and negative views about aging.  People who are aging more rapidly than same-age peers are simultaneously at higher risk for health challenges and future frailty as well as age-based discrimination.  Read more here. read more about People of the same chronological age vary greatly in their biological age, which has implications for frailty risk and for policy »

At age 45, study participants who had previously experienced more mental health problems were aging at a faster pace, had greater declines in sensory, motor and cognitive function, and were rated as looking older than their peers. Results suggest that the prevention of psychopathology and monitoring of individuals with mental health problems for signs of accelerated aging may have the potential to reduce health inequalities and extend healthy lives.  Read more here. read more about Mental health problems are linked with faster aging in middle age »

Join Sean Sanders, Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing at Science, as he interviews outstanding researchers in a broad range of fields whose work either directly involves the study of children and adolescents or has a significant impact in their lives.  Listen here.   read more about Could Studying Children Teach Us About Ageing?  »

The same people who experience psychiatric conditions when they are young go on to experience excess age-related physical diseases and neurodegenerative diseases when they are older adults. Young people with mental health problems go on to become very costly patients in later life. Treating young people’s mental-health problems is a window-of-opportunity to prevent future physical diseases in older adults. This makes mental health care a key weapon in the fight to reduce the societal burden of age-related diseases. Richmond… read more about The same people who have psychiatric conditions when young get excess age-related physical diseases when old. »

“Everyone fears an old age that’s sickly, poor, and lonely, so aging well requires us to get prepared, physically, financially, and socially,” said Terrie Moffitt, last author on the paper. “We found people who have used self-control since childhood are far more prepared for aging in these 3 areas of life than their same-age peers. But if you aren’t prepared for a good old age yet, your 50’s is not too late to get ready!” Moffitt added.  Read article here.  EurekAlert can be found here. read more about Childhood self-control forecasts the pace of midlife aging and preparedness for old age »

The geroscience agenda: What does stress have to do with it? Elissa S. Epel Social hallmarks of aging: Suggestions for geroscience research. Eileen M. Crimmins Behavioral and social research to accelerate the geroscience. Terrie Moffitt       read more about Three new essays in issue 63 of Aging Research Reviews, by Moffitt, Crimmins, and Epel, highlight the value of behavioral and social research for geroscience »

August, 2020 - The Origins of You is now published.  After tracking the lives of thousands of people from birth to midlife, four of the world’s preeminent psychologists reveal what they have learned about how humans develop.  More information about the book can be found here. read more about The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life »

Terrie Moffitt investigates whether there is such a thing as a criminal mind, and whether adolescent delinquency forecasts a life of crime.  Now, after decades of grappling with these big questions, she has some answers.  Read more here. read more about What Makes a Criminal? »

A pattern of pervasively reduced neocortical thickness appears to be common across all forms of mental disorders and may represent a transdiagnostic feature of general psychopathology.  Read more here. read more about Pervasively thinner neocortex as a transdiagnostic feature of general psychopathology »

We report a blood-DNA-methylation measure that is sensitive to variation in pace of biological aging among individuals of the same chronological age.  Editorial by Jamie Justice and Steve Kritchevsky here. read more about Quantification of the pace of biological aging in humans through a blood test, the DunedinPoAm DNA methylation algorithm »

Task-fMRI is a widely used method to probe human brain activity. However, the reliability of many of the most commonly-used task-fMRI measures is unknown. In this research, we performed a meta-analysis as well as novel empirical research and we found that many commonly used task-fMRI measures have poor reliability and are not currently suitable for biomarker discovery or individual differences research.  Read more here.   Studies of brain activity aren't as useful as scientist  thought.  Read article here published in… read more about What is the test-retest reliability of common task-fMRI measures? New empirical evidence and a meta-analysis »