Avshalom Caspi

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Avshalom Caspi
Born (1960-05-05) May 5, 1960 (age 61)
EducationUniversity of California at Santa Cruz
Cornell University
Known forSelf-control
Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study
Spouse(s)Terrie Moffitt
Awards(with Terrie Moffitt) 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology
Scientific career
InstitutionsDuke University
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London
ThesisMoving against and moving away: life-course patterns of explosive and withdrawn children (1986)

Avshalom Caspi (born May 5, 1960) is an Israeli-American psychologist and the Edward M. Arnett Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University, as well as Professor of Personality Development at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. He is known for his research on mental health and human development, much of which he has conducted with his wife and longtime research partner, Terrie Moffitt.[1] The two first met when they presented adjacent posters at a 1987 conference in St. Louis, Missouri entitled "Deviant Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood".[2][3] Among Caspi's notable discoveries was that of an association between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and clinical depression. This discovery, originally reported in a 2003 study, spurred a wave of subsequent research on the potential genetic roots of various psychiatric conditions.[4] However, a 2017 meta-analysis did not support the original finding,[5] nor did a large analysis with nearly 100% power to detect the original finding.[6] Therefore, the general approach of candidate gene or candidate gene by environment interaction research in single small studies is no longer widely accepted.[6][7][8][9]

He and Moffitt have also collaborated on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study since the 1980s.[2]


Caspi graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in psychology in 1981. He received his M.A. in 1983 and Ph.D. in 1986 in developmental psychology from Cornell University as part of the Human Development department.[10] His doctoral dissertation was entitled Moving against and moving away: Life-course patterns of explosive and withdrawn children.[11]

Honors and awards[edit]

Caspi is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the British Academy.[1][12] He and Moffitt were co-recipients of the 2010 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize and Best Practice Award from the Jacobs Foundation,[1] as well as the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology.[13] In 2013 Caspi was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tilburg University in The Netherlands.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Husband and Wife Team Trace the Roots of Youth Violence". APS Observer. 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  2. ^ a b Starr, Douglas (2018-01-30). "Two psychologists followed 1000 New Zealanders for decades. Here's what they found about how childhood shapes later life". Science. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  3. ^ Green, Penelope (2012-10-03). "One Shed Fits All: A Modernist Dogtrot Reborn". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  4. ^ Hamilton, Anita (2009-06-17). "Study: 'Depression Gene' Doesn't Predict the Blues". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  5. ^ Culverhouse, R. C.; Saccone, N. L.; Horton, A. C.; Ma, Y.; Anstey, K. J.; Banaschewski, T.; Burmeister, M.; Cohen-Woods, S.; Etain, B. (2017-04-04). "Collaborative meta-analysis finds no evidence of a strong interaction between stress and 5-HTTLPR genotype contributing to the development of depression". Molecular Psychiatry. 23 (1): 133–142. doi:10.1038/mp.2017.44. ISSN 1476-5578. PMC 5628077. PMID 28373689.
  6. ^ a b Border, Richard; Johnson, Emma C.; Evans, Luke M.; Smolen, Andrew; Berley, Noah; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Keller, Matthew C. (May 2019). "No Support for Historical Candidate Gene or Candidate Gene-by-Interaction Hypotheses for Major Depression Across Multiple Large Samples". American Journal of Psychiatry. 176 (5): 376–387. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18070881. ISSN 0002-953X. PMC 6548317. PMID 30845820.
  7. ^ Duncan LE, Keller MC (October 2011). "A critical review of the first 10 years of candidate gene-by-environment interaction research in psychiatry". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 168 (10): 1041–9. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.11020191. PMC 3222234. PMID 21890791.
  8. ^ Hewitt, John K. (2011). "Editorial Policy on Candidate Gene Association and Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Studies of Complex Traits". Behavior Genetics. 42 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1007/s10519-011-9504-z. ISSN 0001-8244. PMID 21928046. S2CID 11492871.
  9. ^ Johnson, Emma C.; Border, Richard; Melroy-Greif, Whitney E.; de Leeuw, Christiaan A.; Ehringer, Marissa A.; Keller, Matthew C. (2017). "No Evidence That Schizophrenia Candidate Genes Are More Associated With Schizophrenia Than Noncandidate Genes". Biological Psychiatry. 82 (10): 702–708. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.06.033. ISSN 0006-3223. PMC 5643230. PMID 28823710.
  10. ^ "Biosketch" (PDF). Caspi Biosketch 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Dissertation". Moving Against and Moving Away. ProQuest. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Professor Avshalom Caspi". British Academy. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  13. ^ "APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  14. ^ "Avshalom Caspi Awards & Honors". Duke Moffitt & Caspi. Retrieved 2020-03-23.

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