‘The Origins of You’ explores how kids develop into their adult selves

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 10:11 in Psychology & Sociology

The Origins of YouJay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt and Richie PoultonHarvard Univ., $35 Everyone has an opinion about what makes people, especially the troublemakers, who they are. Bad parents, bad genes, bad society, bad luck, bad decisions — pick your poison. Starting several decades ago, four psychologists decided to examine how individuals flourish or flounder over the long run. Instead of jumping into a seemingly endless academic scrum over “nature versus nurture,” they studied how children actually develop over years and decades. Jay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie Moffitt and Richie Poulton describe provocative insights from their investigations in The Origins of You. Developmental researchers acknowledge that many personal and social factors interact throughout life. No single factor can explain, say, why one person pursues a life of crime and another excels in college. Life events and random circumstances tug kids in different directions, making various outcomes more or less probable but...

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