July 25, 2016 16:30 - 18:00

Childhood self-control and mortality by midlife

[Speaker] Daly, Michael:1
1:University of Stirling (United Kingdom)

Whether childhood self-control offers longevity benefits for young and middle-aged adults has not yet been established. 15,129 participants were drawn from the National Child Development Study (NCDS), a nationally-representative British prospective birth cohort study. Child self-control was teacher-rated at ages 7 and 11. 712 participants died over the 44 year period examined from age 11 to age 55 (1970-2014). Proportional-hazards models demonstrated that children with high levels of self-control (+1SD) had a substantially reduced risk of mortality by midlife (HR = .83; 95% confidence interval = [0.77, 0.88]) after adjustment for sex, social class, ethnicity and intelligence. Further adjustment for an extensive set of childhood health and environmental variables did not markedly attenuate this association (HR = .85; 95% confidence interval = [0.80, 0.91]). Self-controlled children are particularly likely to reach middle-age. The mechanisms underlying the life-lengthening effects of early self-discipline require further examination.
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