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14 December 2021

Professor Terrie Moffitt receives 2022 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology

The prestigious award from the University of Louisville was presented to Professor Moffitt for her research on juvenile crime.

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Terrie Moffitt, Professor of Social Behaviour and Development at King’s College London, has been awarded the 2022 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology. Professor Moffitt received the award for shedding new light on the nature of juvenile crime.

Professor Moffitt’s research discovered two types of antisocial behavior in juveniles. One persists from early childhood to adulthood, is relatively rare and seen mostly in males, while the other occurs only in adolescence and is seen in both males and females. Although both types appear to be the same on psychological tests and in illegal behaviors, Moffitt found they are distinctly different, an insight that has changed the way the courts prosecute juveniles.

I am delighted that the Grawemeyer Prize once again comes to the Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. And I am double-delighted that this prize is given for an idea from psychology that has had impact on policy and practice internationally. Impact can be difficult to prove, but this is solid evidence!

Professor Terrie Moffitt
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Professor Moffitt’s research has generated hundreds of empirical tests in the social, biological and health sciences over the past 25 years that have borne out her findings. Of her work, the Grawemeyer award judges said: ‘She and her colleagues studied the life trajectories of people with both types of antisocial behavior and built models to identify and rehabilitate them… Her work has become a cornerstone of how courts decide to sentence juvenile offenders.’

Terrie Moffitt has been Professor of Social Development at King’s College London since 1996, and is also Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor of Psychology at Duke University. Her expertise is in the areas of longitudinal methods, developmental theory, clinical mental health research, neuropsychology, and genomics in behavioural science. She is an elected fellow of the US National Academy of Medicine, British Academy, UK Academy of Medical Sciences, Academia Europa, Association of Psychological Science, and the American Society of Criminology.

Last year, Professor Robert Plomin, Professor of Behavioural Genetics at King’s, was recipient of the 2021 Grawemeyer award in Psychology. The Grawemeyer Award in Psychology is given for ‘original and creative ideas: ideas that possess clarity, power and that substantially impact the field of psychology.’ The annual, $100,000 prizes also honour seminal ideas in music, world order, education and religion.

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Terrie E. Moffitt

Chair in Social Behaviour & Development