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History of Women in Psychology

Due to the efforts of many historians and psychologists, the historiography on women in psychology is now extensive. What appears below is a selection from this vast literature, focusing on treatments of individual lives or group analyses of lives and careers. Biographical and autobiographical material on women psychologists and information on their contributions can also be found in the nine-volume series A History of Psychology in Autobiography, the three-volume series The Psychologists (T. S. Krawiec, Ed.), the multivolume Harvard University Press series, Notable American Women, and the six-volume Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology series. Obituaries published in the American Psychologist (a list is available at the APA archives website) are also a good source for information. Additionally, issues 1-4 of Volume 17 (1995) of the journal Women & Therapy, as well as Volume 5, Issue 1 (1980) of Psychology of Women Quarterly feature articles on female psychologists. Notably, our selections focus primarily on the North American and western European contexts. Information on the history of women in psychology in other countries is welcomed. Contact


Aiyegbayo, O. (2005). Waveney Bushell: A pioneer black educational psychologist. History & Philosophy of Psychology, 7, 36-44.


Ash, M. G. (1995). Women émigré psychologists and psychoanalysts in the United States. In S. Quack (Ed.), Between sorrow and strength: Women refugees of the Nazi period (pp. 239-264). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (1980). Women in psychology: Biography and autobiography. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 5, 140-144.


Benjamin, L. T., Henry, K. D., & McMahon, L. R. (2005). Inez Beverly Prosser and the education of African Americans. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 41, 43-62.


Bernstein, M. & Russo, N. (1974). The history of psychology revisited, or, Up with our foremothers. American Psychologist, 29, 130-134.


Bohan, J. S. (1995). Re-placing women in psychology: Readings toward a more inclusive history. Second Edition. Dubuque, IOWA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.


Bohan, J. S. (1990). Contextual history: A framework for re-placing women in the history of psychology. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 14, 213-227.


Bryan, A. I., & Boring, E. G. (1944). Women in American psychology: Prolegomenon. Psychological Bulletin, 41, 447-454.


Bryan, A. I., & Boring, E. G. (1946). Women in American psychology: Statistics from the OPP questionnaire. American Psychologist, 1, 71-79.


Bryan, A. I., & Boring, E. G. (1947). Women in American psychology: Factors affecting their professional careers. American Psychologist, 2, 3-20.


Browne, R. B. (1969). Love my children: The education of a teacher. New York: Meredith Press. [The memoir of Rose Butler Browne, the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in education from Harvard University.]


Cameron, C. E., & Hagen, J. W. (2005). Women in child development: Themes from the SRCD oral history project. History of Psychology, 8, 289-316.


Campos, R. H. de Freitas (2001). Helena Antipoff (1892-1974): A synthesis of Swiss and Soviet psychology in the context of Brazilian education. History of Psychology, 4, 133-158.


Capshew, J. H., & Laszlo, A. C. (1986). "We would not take no for an answer": Women psychologists and gender politics during World War II. Journal of Social Issues, 42, 157- 180.


Chesler, P. Rothblum, E. D., & Cole, E. (Eds.)(1996). Feminist foremothers in women's studies, psychology, and mental health. New York: Routledge.


Corey-Seibold, M. L. (1982). Psychology's foremothers: Case studies of six women who shaped the development of American psychology. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International.


deFord, M. A. (1948). Psychologist unretired: The life pattern of Lillien J. Martin. Stanford: Stanford University Press.


de la Cour, L. (1987). The 'other' side of psychology: Women psychologists in Toronto from 1920-1945. Canadian Woman Studies, 8, 44-46.


Furumoto, L. (1979). Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930): Fourteenth president of the American Psychological Association. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 15, 346- 356.


Furumoto, L. (1987). On the margins: Women and the professionalization of psychology in the United States, 1890-1940. In M. G. Ash & W. R. Woodward (Eds.), Psychology in twentieth century thought and society (pg. 93-113). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Furumoto, L. (1992). Joining separate spheres - Christine Ladd-Franklin, Woman-scientist (1847-1930). American Psychologist, 47, 175-182.


Furumoto, L. (1994). Christine Ladd-Franklin's color theory: Strategy for claiming scientific authority? In H. E. Adler & R. W. Rieber (Eds.), Aspects of the history of psychology in America, 1892-1992 (pp. 91-112). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol 727. Washington, DC: APA.


Furumoto, L. (2003). Beyond great men and great ideas: History of psychology in sociocultural context. In P. Bronstein & K. Quina (Eds.), Teaching gender and multicultural awareness: Resources for the psychology classroom (pp. 113-124). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Furumoto, L., & Scarborough, E. (1986). Placing women in the history of psychology: The first American women psychologists. American Psychologist, 41, 35-42.


Furumoto, L., & Scarborough, E. (1987). Placing women in the history of comparative psychology: Margaret Floy Washburn and Margaret Morse Nice. In E. Tobach (Ed.), Historical perspectives and the international status of comparative psychology (pp. 103-117). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Gilbreth, L. M. (1998). As I remember: An autobiography. Norcross, GA: Engineering and Management Press.


Gul, P., Korosteliov, A., Caplan, L., Ball, L. C., Bazar, J. L., Rodkey, E. N., Sheese, K., Young, J., & Rutherford, A. (2013). Reconstructing the experiences of first generation women in Canadian psychology. Canadian Psychology, 54(2), 94-104.


Gundlach, H. Roe, R. Sinatra, M. & Tanucci, G. (Eds.).(2010). European pioneer women in psychology. Milano, Italy: FrancoAngeli Psicologia.


Guthrie, R. V. (1998). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. [Offers biographical accounts of a selection of early African-American women psychologists.]


Higgins, F.C. (1918). The life of Naomi Norsworthy. New York: Houghton-Mifflin.


Hogan, J. D., & Sexton, V. S. (1991). Women and the American Psychological Association. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 623-634.


Hollingworth, H. L. (1943). Leta Stetter Hollingworth. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


Johnson, A. (2015). Florence Goodenough and child study: The question of mothers as researchers. History of psychology18(2), 183-195.


Johnston, E., & Johnson, A. (2008). Searching for the second generation of American women psychologists. History of Psychology, 11, 40-69.


Keates, J. & Stam, H. J. (2009). "The disadvantaged psychological scene": Educational experiences of women in early Canadian psychology. Canadian Psychology, 50, 273-282.


Klein, A. G. (2002). A forgotten voice: A biography of Leta Stetter Hollingworth. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.


Koppes, L. L. (1997). American female pioneers of industrial and organizational psychology during the early years. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 500-515. [Features the work of Marion Bills, Elsie Bregman, Lillian Gilbreth, and Mary Holmes Hayes.]


Lal, S. (2002). Giving children security: Mamie Phipps Clark and the racialization of child psychology. American Psychologist, 57, 20-28.


Milar, K. S. (1999). "A Coarse and Clumsy Tool": Helen Thompson Woolley and the Cincinnati Vocational Bureau. History of Psychology, 2(3): 219-235.


Milar, K. S. (2000). The first generation of women psychologists and the psychology of women. American Psychologist, 55, 616-619.


Minton, H. L. (2000). Psychology and gender at the turn of the century. American Psychologist, 55, 613-615.


Mitchell, M. B. (1951). Status of women in the American Psychological Association. American Psychologist, 6, 193-201.


Morse, J. F. (2002). Ignored but not forgotten: The work of Helen Bradford Thompson Woolley. NWSA Journal, 14, 121-147.


O'Connell, A. N., & Russo, N. Felipe (Eds.). (1980). Eminent women in psychology: Models of achievement. New York: Human Sciences Press.


O'Connell, A. N., & Russo, N. Felipe (Eds.). (1983). Models of achievement: Reflections of eminent women in psychology. New York: Columbia University Press.


O’Connell, A. & Russo, N. Felipe (1988) (Eds.). Models of achievement: Reflections of eminent women in psychology, volume 2. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


O'Connell, A. N., & Russo, N. Felipe (Eds.). (1990). Women in psychology: A bio-bibliographic sourcebook. New York: Greenwood Press.


O'Connell, A. N., & Russo, N. Felipe (1991). Women's heritage in psychology: Past and present. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 495-504.


O'Connell, A. N. (2001). Models of achievement: Reflections of eminent women in psychology, volume 3. New York: Psychology Press.


Pettit, M. (2008). The new woman as "tied up dog": Amy E. Tanner's situated knowledges. History of Psychology, 11, 145-163.


Roazen, P. (1985). Helene Deutsch: A psychoanalyst's life. New York: New American Library.


Rodkey, E. N. (2015). The visual cliff’s forgotten menagerie: Rats, goats, babies, and myth-making in the history of psychology. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 51, 113-140.


Rodkey, E. N. (2016). Far more than dutiful daughter: Milicent Shinn's child study and education advocacy after 1898. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 177(6), 209-230.


Rodkey, E. N. (2017). “Very much in love”: The letters of Magda Arnold and Father John Gasson. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 53, 286-304.


Rossiter, M. W. (1982). Women scientists in America: Struggles and strategies to 1940. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.


Russo, N. F., & Denmark, F. L. (1987). Contributions of women to psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 38, 279-298.


Russo, N. F., & O'Connell, A. N. (1980). Models from our past: Psychology's foremothers. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 5, 11-53. [This whole issue contains biographical articles on women, including Mary Whiton Calkins, Margaret Floy Washburn, Karen Horney, Edna Heidbreder, Mary Cover Jones, Anne Roe, and Susan Gray.]

Rutherford, A. (2005). The woman problem. The General Psychologist, 40(1). 14.15.


Rutherford, A. (2006). Mother of behavior therapy and beyond: Mary Cover Jones and the study of the “whole child.”  In D. Dewsbury, L. T. Benjamin, & M. Wertheimer (Eds.), Portraits of pioneers in psychology, Vol. VI. (pp. 189-206). Washington, DC: APA.


Rutherford, A. (2012). Starting from strengths: Mamie Phipps Clark, developmental psychologist. In W. E. Pickren, D. Dewsbury, & M. Wertheimer (Eds.), Portraits of pioneers in psychology, Volume VII (pp. 261-275). New York: Psychology Press.


Rutherford, A., & Pickren, W. E. (2008). Women and minorities in psychology. In S. Davis and B. Buskist (Eds.), The handbook of 21st century psychology (pp. 25-36). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Rutherford, A., Unger, R., & Cherry, F. (2011). Reclaiming SPSSI’s sociological past: Marie Jahoda and the immersion tradition in social psychology. Journal of Social Issues, 67(1), 42-58.


Rutherford, A. & Vaughn-Blount, K. (2010). Georgia Babladelis (1931– 2009): Breaking traditions, building foundations. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 5-6.


Scarborough, E. (1992). Mrs. Ricord and psychology for women, circa 1840. American Psychologist, 47, 274-280.


Scarborough, E. (1992). Women in the American Psychological Association. In R. B. Evans, V. S. Sexton, & T. Cadwallader (Eds.), The American Psychological Association: A historical perspective (pp. 303-325). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Scarborough, E., & Furumoto, L. (1987). Untold lives: The first generation of American women psychologists. New York: Columbia University Press.


Shields, S. A. (2007). Passionate men, emotional women: Psychology constructs gender difference in the late 19th century. History of Psychology, 10, 92-110.


Shields, S. A. & Kappas, A. (Eds.)(2006). Magda B. Arnold's contributions to emotion research and theory. New York: Psychology Press.


Shields, S. A. (1975). Ms. Pilgrim's progress: The contributions of Leta Stetter Hollingworth to the psychology of women. American Psychologist, 30, 852-857.


Simmel, M. L. (1986). A tribute to Eugenia Hanfmann, 1905-1983. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 22, 348-356.


Stevens, G., & Gardner, S. (1985). Psychology of the scientist: LIV. Permission to excel: A preliminary report of influences on eminent women psychologists. Psychological Reports, 57, 1023-1026.


Stevens, G., & Gardner, S. (1982). The women of psychology: Vol. I. Pioneers and innovators. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman.


Stevens, G., & Gardner, S. (1982). The women of psychology: Vol. II. Expansion and refinement. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman.


Storm, C. & Gurevich, M. (2001). Looking forward, looking back: Women in psychology. Canadian Psychology, 42, 245-248.


Unger, R. K. (Ed.). (2004). Handbook of the psychology of women and gender. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Valentine, E. R. (2006). Beatrice Edgell: Pioneer woman psychologist. New York: Nova Science.


Warren, W. (1999). Black women scientists in the United States. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. [Includes information on Inez Prosser, Mamie Clark, Ruth Howard, Alberta Banner Turner, and others.]


Wentworth, P. A. (1999). The moral of her story: Exploring the philosophical and religious commitments in Mary Whiton Calkins' self-psychology. History of Psychology, 2, 119-131.


Woodward, W. R. (2010). Russian women emigrees in psychology: Informal Jewish networks. History of Psychology, 13, 111-137.


Wright, M. J. (1992). Women ground-breakers in Canadian psychology: World War II and its aftermath. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 33(4), 657-682.


Young-Breuhl, E. (2004). Anna Freud: A biography, 2nd Edition. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.