Early Milestones in the History of Child Psychology

1892 American Psychological Association founded. G. Stanley Hall is first president.

1892 L. Witmer founds first psychology clinic, University of Pennsylvania, for children with learning disabilities and academic problems.
1897 Witmer’s clinic offers 4-week summer course in child psychology.

1905 Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale for measuring mental abilities in children published in France.
1907 Witmer establishes a residential school for retarded children and founds the first clinical journal.
1908 H. Goddard establishes first clinical internship program at Vineland Training School (New Jersey).
1909 Beers, supported by psychologist W. James and psychiatrist A. Meyer founds the National Association of Mental Health
(NAMH).
1909 W. Healey establishes the first child guidance center, the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute (Chicago), to treat and prevent mental illness in juvenile offenders. Later named the Institute for Juvenile Research
1909 G. Stanely Hall invites Sigmund Sigmund Freud to lecture on psychoanalysis at Clark University.
1910 Goddard translates the Binet-Simon Intelligence Test for use with “feeble-minded children” at the Vineland School.
1911 A. Gesell appointed director of Yale’s Psychoeducational Clinic, renamed Clinic of Child Development.
1912 J.B. Watson publishes Psychology as a Behaviorist Views It.
1916 Terman’s Stanford-Benit Intelligence Test is published.
1917 APA section of clinical psychology is founded.
1920 Watson and Raynor demonstrated that fear can be conditioned in a child called “Albert”.
1922 NAMH funds eight pilot child guidance clinics established in various cities.
1926 Piaget publishes The Language and Thought of the Child.
1928 Anna Freud publishes Introduction to the Technique of Child Analysis.
1930 Kanner joins Johns Hopkins University and opens the first pediatric psychiatric clinic, Harriet Lane Pediatric Clinic.
1932 M. Klein authors The Psychoanalysis of Children.
1935 Kanner publishes first textbook on child psychology.
1937 Adolescent psychiatric ward opens at Bellevue Hospital.
1944 Kanner describes autistic behaviors and attributes illness to “refrigerator mother”.
1945 Studies by R. Spitsz raise concerns about negative impact of institutional life on children.
1948 American Association of Psychiatric Clinics for Children (AAPCC) is formed as 54 child guidance clinics come together.
1950’s Behavior therapy emerges as a treatment alternative for child and family problems.
1951 Bowlby publishes on attachment.
1952 American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I). The DSM contained two disorders of childhood: Adjustment Reaction and Childhood Schizophrenia.
1953 The American Academy of Child Psychiatry is established.
1968 DSM-II published and adds “hyperkinetic reaction of childhood” (which is now referred to as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
1977 Thomas and Chess publish work on the nine categories of temperament.
1980 DSM-III is first version of DSM to make specific developmental recommendations regarding childhood disorders.
1984 Sroufe and Rutter introduce domain of child psychopathology as offshoot of developmental psychology; Developmental Psychopathology Journal is introduced.
1999 Clinical Child Psychology established as the 53rd division of American Psychological Association, renamed Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (2001).