Childhood forecasting of a small segment of the population with large economic burden.

Published

Journal Article

Policy-makers are interested in early-years interventions to ameliorate childhood risks. They hope for improved adult outcomes in the long run, bringing return on investment. How much return can be expected depends, partly, on how strongly childhood risks forecast adult outcomes. But there is disagreement about whether childhood determines adulthood. We integrated multiple nationwide administrative databases and electronic medical records with the four-decade Dunedin birth-cohort study to test child-to-adult prediction in a different way, by using a population-segmentation approach. A segment comprising one-fifth of the cohort accounted for 36% of the cohort's injury insurance-claims; 40% of excess obese-kilograms; 54% of cigarettes smoked; 57% of hospital nights; 66% of welfare benefits; 77% of fatherless childrearing; 78% of prescription fills; and 81% of criminal convictions. Childhood risks, including poor age-three brain health, predicted this segment with large effect sizes. Early-years interventions effective with this population segment could yield very large returns on investment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Caspi, A; Houts, RM; Belsky, DW; Harrington, H; Hogan, S; Ramrakha, S; Poulton, R; Moffitt, TE

Published Date

  • January 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1 /

PubMed ID

  • 28706997

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28706997

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2397-3374

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2397-3374

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41562-016-0005

Language

  • eng