The American Psychological Foundation (APF) will honor four psychologists with its Gold Medal Awards for Life Achievement at APA's 110th Annual Convention in Chicago, Aug. 22-25.
The awards recognize distinguished and enduring contributions to the application, practice and science of psychology and to the promotion of psychology in the public interest. APF President Dorothy W. Cantor, PsyD, will present the medals at the ceremony, to be held on Friday, Aug. 23, in the Waldorf Room of the Chicago Hilton and Towers.
Peter M. Lewinsohn, PhD
Clinical issues have significantly informed Peter M. Lewinsohn's research and driven his development of numerous measurement instruments, including the Pleasant Events, the Unpleasant Events and the Life Attitudes schedules. Since 1964, his research has concentrated on depression across the age span, as well as related phenomena such as suicide, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, cigarette smoking and physical disease, the importance of subthreshold depression, and the effects of brain damage.
Beginning from a behavioral formulation of depression, Lewinsohn collaboratively derived individual and group treatment on the basis of cognitive-behavioral strategies to address the psychological treatment of depressed individuals. These strategies have been adapted for use with depressed elderly populations.
Lewinsohn and his colleagues also developed another cognitive-behavioral treatment intervention, the Adolescent Coping With Depression Course, which has been translated into German, Dutch and Spanish. In 1985, he and his colleagues began an ongoing longitudinal study, the Oregon Adolescent Depression Project, which follows a large cohort of community high-school students from adolescence into young adulthood.
Mathilda B. Canter, PhD
In 1976, as chair of the Arizona State Board of Psychologist Examiners, Mathilda B. Canter, PhD, spearheaded a movement that resulted in the first legal stipulation permitting certified psychologists to "diagnose, treat and correct human conditions ordinarily within the scope and practice of a psychologist."
By 1978, the previously split community of mental health professionals became a united front, resulting in the establishment of a statute requiring a doctoral degree for certification, permitting the national examination, expanding disciplinary options and increasing fees. The statute also allowed Arizona to join the American Association of State Psychology Boards (AASPB). Canter was elected to the AASPB board in 1980 and immediately wrote the Sunset Review Preparation Guide, which was based on Arizona's very successful review by the legislature, for circulation to all state boards. She received the 1986 AASPB Roger C. Smith award for valuable contributions to the regulation of psychologists and the practice of the profession.
Using the experience she gained while chairing the APA Ethics Committee and its revision comments subcommittee, which finalized the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, Canter is frequently consulted on ethical issues. She was responsible for the conception, initiation and coordination of the reference book, Ethics for Psychologists: A Commentary on the APA Ethics Code, (APA, 1994).
Public Interest Award:
Ann Roth Pytkowicz Streissguth, PhD
With an initial focus on social class differences in children's cognitive and motivational processes, the life of Ann Roth Pytkowicz Streissguth, PhD, was forever changed in 1973 when pediatric department colleagues David W. Smith and Kenneth L. Jones asked her to examine a group of children born to alcoholic mothers. At that time, there were no contemporary warnings against alcohol use during pregnancy, and the implications of this work were immense.
In 1974, Streissguth began the ongoing collaborative study that has followed a birth cohort of several hundred young adults whose mothers were interviewed during the middle stages of pregnancy. The study, recently honored with a National Institutes of Health Merit Award, found that combined incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and the prevalence of alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disabilities was nearly one per 100 births.
Streissguth organized the first international conference on FAS in 1980, an event that brought together 26 participants from 13 countries. In 1981, following this event, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a warning against drinking alcohol during pregnancy or when planning a pregnancy.
John B. Carroll, PhD
During his undergraduate years at Wesleyan University, John B. Carroll, PhD, cultivated his interest in psychology, particularly in the measurement of foreign language aptitude. He pursued graduate studies in psychology at the University of Minnesota, where B.F. Skinner guided his early study of the psychology of language.
He chose to specialize in language behavior and linguistics problems as they are approached through mathematical, statistical and psychometrical perspectives. At Indiana University, he continued to study the value of factor analysis results, leading to a position at the University of Chicago, where he taught personnel psychology to Army recruits. Eventually, in the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, he conducted and directed further studies in factor analysis and educational measurement, most of which related to language.
While at Harvard, Carroll helped develop the field of psycholinguistics by securing funds to support research, which tested Benjamin Lee Whorf's ideas on the influence of language structure on thought, to be conducted by a number of younger scholars in psychology and linguistics. Because of his extensive knowledge of linguistics and language behavior, he later studied foreign language aptitude, a topic of interest to numerous government agencies.
After accepting a position as professor at the University of North Carolina in 1976, Carroll became interested in developing general theories of language and thought through the use of factor analysis. He has spent most of his active and retirement years completing research to establish a comprehensive summary of human cognitive abilities, with possible extensions to the study of personality traits.
Amy L. Kiel is a coordinator for the American Psychological Foundation.