A History of Developmental Psychology in Autobiography

By Dennis Thompson; John D. Hogano | Go to book overview

6
Lois Wladis Hoffman

As a developmental psychologist who studies the influence of family experiences on socialization, it is somewhat embarrassing to approach the task of describing the factors that shaped my career development by skipping over the family influences. I see my career as shaped more by what Bandura ( 1982) has called "chance encounters" and "fortuitous events" and by influences at the societal level --- particularly the prejudices of the times. Most of the important events that shaped my career were unplanned situations, and I chose the path of least resistance.


The Early Years

I was born in the same town in which my mother was born, Elmira, New York, a city of about forty-five thousand that is not near New York City or Buffalo or any other large city. It is in the center of farm country, of beautiful hills, near the Finger Lakes. I was the youngest child in a nonintellectual family. I had an advantage in school because I was middle class and most of my classmates were working class, and I was an honor student with little effort. I read books like the Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton series and Sue Barton, Student Nurse.

I wanted to go to college to get away from home -- for fun and adventure. My best friend and I chose the colleges to which we would apply on our own. Neither family had any advice to offer. Her parents both worked in a factory; mine owned a clothing store where both worked. My father had gone to school through the eighth grade. My mother had attended normal school after high school, and before her first child was born she had taught school in a one-room schoolhouse.

We chose Northwestern University, which we somehow learned had a good school of journalism, because we co-edited the school newspaper and thought we might be foreign correspondents like Marguerite Higgins; and Pembroke College, the "girls" school attached to Brown, because the picture on the brochure was very attractive. We were both rejected at Northwestern because "to create spaces for the returning GIs, we are not accepting out-of-state girls."

We were both accepted at Pembroke. However, in May I returned a form to indicate roommate preference in the dormitory on which I requested a Jewish roommate because I was Jewish and wanted to meet other Jewish girls. A return

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A History of Developmental Psychology in Autobiography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • References x
  • 1 - Louise Bates Ames 1
  • Notes 21
  • References 21
  • 2 - James Emmett Birren 24
  • References 44
  • 3 - Marie Skodak Crissey 46
  • Notes 69
  • Representative Publications 69
  • 4 - David Elkind 71
  • References 83
  • 5 - Dale B. Harris 84
  • References 103
  • 6 - Lois Wladis Hoffman 105
  • References 119
  • 7 - Çiǧdem KaǧitçebaŞi 121
  • Notes 133
  • Representative Publications 133
  • 8 - Lewis P. Lipsitt 137
  • References 158
  • 9 - Paul Mussen 161
  • References 177
  • 10 - Seymour Wapner 180
  • Notes 199
  • References 199
  • About the Book and Editors 209
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