Historical analysis in pediatric psychology: The influence of societal and professional conditions on two early pediatric psychology articles and the field's subsequent development
The field of pediatric psychology arose in the 1960s in response to a variety of societal and professional needs. Two seminal articles written during this time, by Jerome Kagan (1965) and Logan Wright (1967), played key roles in the field’s development. However, their efficacy in galvanizing a response from medical professionals and psychologists had much to do with broad-ranging developments in pediatric public health, intraprofessional changes among medical specialties, and a growing preoccupation with “psychosocial” and parenting issues. The purpose of this paper is to situate Kagan’s (1965) and Wright’s (1967) contributions within their social and historical contexts, and thereby to elicit reflection on the field’s subsequent and continued development.