Sir Michael Rutter

Sir Michael Rutter


  • Advisory Committee Chair
  • Child & Brain Development


  • King's College London
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience


  • United Kingdom


PhD, University of Birmingham
MD, University of Birmingham


Michael Rutter is a child psychologist.

Over five decades, his research has focused on continuities and discontinuities in normal and abnormal psychosocial development, on neuropsychiatric disorders, psychosocial causes of mental disorder, the use of ‘natural experiments’ to test causal inferences, and especially on gene-environment interplay. For the last 15 years he has conducted a pioneering study of children adopted into U.K. families from seriously depriving institutions in Romania. This research reflects (and seeks to integrate) all of the above main interests.


Fellow of the British Academy, 2002
Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 1988
Fellow of the Royal Society, 1987
Academy of Medical Sciences Council Member, 1998-2002
Knight Baronet, 1992

Relevant Publications

Rutter, M., and A. Pickles. “Threats to the validity of child psychiatry and psychology.” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 57, no. 3 (2016): 398–416.
Rutter, M. “Resilience: Concepts, findings and clinical implications.” In Rutter’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, edited by A. Thapar et al., 341–351. 6th ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.
Rutter, M., and C. Azis-Clauson. “Biology of environmental effects.” In Rutter’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, edited by A. Thapar et al., 287–302. 6th ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.
Rutter, M. et al. “Longitudinal studies using a ‘natural experiment’ design: The case of adoptees from Romanian institutions." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 51 (2012): 762–70.
Rutter, M. “Proceeding from observed correlation to causal inference: The use of natural experiments." Perspectives in Psychological Science 2 (2007): 377–95. 
Rutter, M. Genes and Behavior: Nature-Nurture Interplay Explained. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006.
Rutter, M. Maternal Deprivation Reassessed. London: Penguin psychology, 1999.