Tests of self control when children are very young can predict what kind of adult those children are likely to become.

The Dunedin Study – a world recognised, long running longitudinal study – has found that self control can effect whether you grow up to be obese, smoke, end up on welfare and all sorts of other life outcomes.

The good news is that self control is something we can all learn, so if you find yourself reaching for that extra biscuit when you’ve already had two – there’s hope for you yet.



The importance of childhood self-control for a prosocial, successful life. Presentation by Dr Sandhya Ramrakha at the AGECS Leadership for Change Seminar – July 2017

Self-controlling Your Future  an interview with Dr Sandhya Ramrakha. ABC LifeMatters, 27 December 2017.

A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety. Moffitt, T., et al. (2011). PNAS, 108(70), pp. 2693-2698.

Lifelong impact of early self-sontrol: Childhood self-discipline predicts adult quality of life. Moffitt, T., et al. (2013). American Scientist, 101 pp. 352-359.

VIDEO – Episode 1   The Early Years. Beginnings Count – A Lot.
This episode sets up the Dunedin Longitudinal study – it explains what a longitudinal study is, and why this one is so special. This programme then asks what lasting effects does our childhood have on us? Answer; plenty, but they may not be what you expect.

Password to access this video:  agecsvideo