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Sir Michael Rutter Child psychiatrist

Michael Rutter’s research has, over five decades, 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 from seriously depriving institutions in Romania into U.K. families. This research reflects (and seeks to integrate) all of the above main interests.


Elected Fellow of the British Academy, 2002.

Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 1988.

Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1987.

Academy of Medical Sciences Council Member, 1998-2002.

Knight Baronet, 1992.

Relevant Publications

M. Rutter and A. Pickles. “ Threats to the validity of child psychiatry and psychology”. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2015. Doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12461

M. Rutter and C. Azis-Clauson. “Biology of environmental effects”. In: Rutter’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, (Eds.) A. Thapar et al. 6th ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 287-302, 2015.

M. Rutter. “Resilience: Concepts, findings and clinical implications”. In: Rutter’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, (Eds.) A. Thapar et al. 6th ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 341-351, 2015.

M. Rutter 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, vol. 51, pp. 762-770, 2012.

M. Rutter. “Proceeding from observed correlation to causal inference: The use of natural experiments," Perspectives in Psychological Science, vol. 2, pp. 377-395, 2007.


M. Rutter, Genes and Behavior: Nature-Nurture Interplay Explained, Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006.

M. Rutter, Maternal Deprivation Reassessed, London: Penguin psychology, 1999.



Advisory Committee Chair Child & Brain Development


King's College LondonInstitute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience


PhD University of Birmingham

MD University of Birmingham


United Kingdom

Ideas Related to Sir Michael Rutter


Panel 1 Question and Answer session

Bruce McEwen, The Rockefeller University, CIFAR Weston Fellow and Co-Director Marla Sokolowski, University of Toronto and CIFAR Advisory Committee Chair...

Video | Child & Brain Development

Heterogeneity of experiences and of their effects: Do they matter?

CIFAR Advisory Committee Chair Sir Michael Rutter, King’s College London There is an abundance of evidence that experiences do have...