AACAP History

First Decade of 20th Century (1900-1910)

As the 20th Century began, 60% of the U.S. lived in towns of less than 2,500 people, psychiatrists, were called “alienists” (In Europe they were called psychiatrists), and planck read and the first paper on Quantum Theory. Friend’s interpretation of Dreams was published in 1900. In 1900 only 11% of 14-17 year olds were in high school. Life expectancy was 48 years most deaths were due to infection especially TB. 1906 saw the Great San Francisco earthquake and fire occur. In this first decade the Wright Brothers flew in a heavier than air machine. Automobiles began to appear on the roads (“Hold the Horses Nellie”) and Einstein published his Theory of Relativity. The NAACP was organized in 1905. Massive immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe was ongoing. In America, 1900 saw the first appearance of the Wizard of Oz and its successors are still tremendous favorites among American children. The world was changing for children for mental health. A National Child Labor Commission was begun which led, for the first time, Child Labor Law. By 1900 two juvenile courts existed, in Chicago and Denver. The concept of “adolescence” originated, by Stanley G. Hall in 1904. The first time it was seen as a separate subject for description in the life cycle. Patlou read his first paper in 1903. It was discovered that syphilis was caused by a Spirochete in 1905 and in 1909 Freud published, Analysis of a Phobia in a Five Year Old Boy. In France, Binet devised the first solid scientific test for intelligence in 1905 and in that same year Thorndike wrote his first major work on Learning Theory. The First White House on Children occurred in 1909.

The 2nd Decade (1910-1920)

The clouds of war were apparent and “The Great War” (World War I) overwhelmed the decade in the world and the U.S. (1914-1918). However there were other significant events occurring in the world and in the United States and many changes relevant to children and to mental health.

In 1913 it was discovered that Paresis was caused by Syphilis and the stick skin test was invented. In 1915 Healy wrote The Individual Delinquent and in 1917, Healy and Bonner left Chicago to take over the Judy Baher Clinic, The 1st joint commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals occurred in 1918. In that same year (1918) August Aichorn began his work that culminated in his masterful book, Wayward Youtle (1925). During this decade, Walter Fernald began his monumental work with the developmentally disabled: first Special Ed class, first outpatient clinic for “Mentally Retarded” and first law for their humane treatment.

The 3rd Decade (1920-1930)

The Roaring Twenties!

The Great War was over and the Senate rejected the US joining the League of Nations. Jazz, talking movies, flappers, and a new invention radio. Rarely has life moved as quickly. Some 3 million people left the farms and sought the City.

Herman Rorschach had become intrigued with the responses patients made to ink blots. His book “Psychodiagnostics” came out in 1921. In 1920, in England the famous Tavinstock Clinic opened, it’s first patient was a child, but it was 6 more years until it opened a children’s department.

The Child Welfare League of America came into being in 1920. The first residential setting designed primarily for the evaluation and treatment of troubled children is said to have the Cincinnati Child Guidance Home was established in 1920 and eventually was headed by Othilda King, an early leader of AACP (later AACAP). Judge Baker began its work under Healy and in 1921; the Psychiatric Division of Bellevue Hospital in NYC opened a Children’s Ward.

The Commonwealth Fund (founded in 1918) began to work with the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and they began funding child guidance clinic across the nation to diagnose, treat, and prevent Juvenile delinquency. Because people didn’t want to be thought of as “crazy” the word “Psychiatric” clinics was changed to Child Guidance. The psychiatrist said it wasn’t psychiatry, the pediatricians were vociferously opposed and the psychologists felt it was poaching.

In 1921 Margaret Sanger was arrested for opening a birth control clinic. And in Berlin in 1922-23 Melanie Klein was developing her technique for the use of the play in the psychoanalysis of children. Jean Piaget published his first book, The Language and Thought of the Child in 1923. He was an epistemologist concerned with the achievement of knowledge. “How does the person come to know anything”? He studied this developmentally through ingenious experiments. Samuel Orton’s first paper “Word Blindness in School Children” APPEARED IN THE Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry in 1925.

The stock market crashed on October 29, 1929. The Jazz age ended and the Great Depression (The 30’s) began.

The 4th Decade (1930-1940)

“The 30’s were a tragic decade. War” despotism and depression dominated the West Catastrophe was everywhere?

In America there were developments in spite of the depression. The first pediatric psychiatry service was opened when Leo Kanner joined the Harriet Lane Pediatric Clinic at Johns Hopkins University in 1930. Two years later, the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic opened at New York Hospital. “1930 also saw the launching of the Journal of the American Orthopsychiatric Association. The Association was multi-disciplinary, team oriented, and prevention focused, its annual meeting was the one site where child psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers could bring their ideas together. For many years it was the most prestigious site for publication of materials in child psychiatry and child mental health.

The Ittleson Family Foundation was created in 1932 and it had its primary interest in emotional and psychological problems, it became a major supporter of work that would benefit children.

In 1934 the secret of one form of severe mental retardation was unraveled Phenylketonuria. From 1933 thru 1940, were devised many infant development scales -the Bayley, the Iowa the Gisell and the Catel -the golden age of infant rating scale efforts.

While it may not need to be said, it was time for significant world events:

FDRR was elected in 1932, Japan attacked Shanghai and occupied China in 1932, and Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 starting World War II. The Spanish civil War occupied the late 30’s and Stalin was exercising his control over the Soviet Union. The Great Depression continued until the outbreak of War.

The 5th Decade (1940-1950)

The Fifth Decade in the world was dominated by World War II followed by the Cold War which followed in WW’s 2 aftermath. As wars all want to do there were significant, discoveries and side effects: the atom bomb, atomic energy, the computer (ENIAC). There was the flight to the suburbs after the war and its entire ramification the GI bill sent the former soldiers and sailors to college and post-graduate educations.

Jackie Robinson integrated baseball in 1947. Between 1945 and 1963 the Baby Boomers were born as the population of the USA greatly increased. Of great importance to the Mental Health field the National Mental Health Act was signed by Harry Truman on 7/3/46 and Dr. Robert Felix became the head of the National Advisory Mental Health Council which led to NIMH, with Dr. Felix as it’s first director.

Another founding father of AACP (AACAP) J. Franklin Robinson, MD founded the Children’s Service Center of Wyoming Valley (Wilkes-Barre, PA) at what had been the “Home for Friendless Children. “ The Langley Porter Clinic opened in San Francisco in 1943 and in 1946. Ben Spock published Baby and Child Care which was a canonical work in the American households and later, it was blamed for the problems of youth in the 60’s. Margaret Maker, Beatts Rank, Melanie Klein, and Anna Freud exerted their influences on child psychiatry and in 1945; the first volume of the Psychoanalysis Study of the Child appeared.

In 1943, Leo Kanner described Autism for the first time and in Germany Asperger described, for the first time, Asperger’s Syndrome (thought it was unknown in the English speaking world until translated into English in 1989.

In this decade Carl Rogers, at the Univ. of Wisconsin published about “Client entered therapy and Helen Deutsch wrote the Psychology of Women. Fritz Redl came to America and taught us about human understanding treatment of Juvenile child delinquents “hyper aggressive child”. John Bowlby, in England enlightened us about the effects of maternal deprivation-separation and object loss-that had a major impact on child rearing practices, institutional care and pediatric hospitalization. Renee Spitz told us about Anaclitic Depression and Hospitalism. The American Association of Psychiatric Clinics for Children was formed (there were 54 of them) to set standards for care and training with Fred Allen as its first president. Dr. Wm Menninger led the creation of the group for The Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP).

In 1947, Anna Freud founded the Hampstead Child Therapy Course. On May 21, 1949 the APA’s Council authorized the formation of the first APA Committee on Child Psychiatry and the “Sense of Child Psychiatry as a meaningful presence in psychiatric thinking was beginning to grow. Separate Boards were recommended but forted to be passed for 9 years which probably led to the formation of The Academy on the 50’s.

The 6th Decade (1950-1960)

The Mid-Twentieth Century, the post war years. Quiet? Affluent? Seemingly but. It was the height of the population explosion. Now, twice as many lived in Cities than lived in the Country. Fears of Nuclear War hung over; The Korean War, the Cold War; McCarthyism, which-hunts for communists, sit-ins as the Civil Rights movement grew (and peaked in August 1963), the forced integration of Central H.S. in Little Rock. The first class of agents known simply as “the pill” came to be in 1956; it became the major means of regulating fertility in the U.S.

Mental Health underwent dramatic changes. The Clinic movement and residential treatment movement were suspended by the family approach and the community movement: crisis intervention; brief intensive inpatient care; partial hospitalization, third party payments, etc. In France in 1953 the first “tranquilizer”, chlorpromazine (Reserpine) was introduced and it would change psychiatric care. Downs Syndrome’s cause was found to be due to a triplication of Chromosome 21 in 1959. 1959 was the year that the ABPN started Board Exams in Child Psychiatry, which therefore made Child Psychiatry a “full-fledged specialty.”

In 1951, in Cincinnati, a group of child psychiatrists led by George Gardner got together at an Ortho meeting to consider the desirability of forming and American Academy of Child Psychiatry.” After several organizational meeting, The Academy became a reality on February 22, 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio. George Gardner was elected President and Frank Curran, Secretary/Treasurer. “The history of the discipline has since been intimately interwoven with the story of this organization.”

In many ways, the fifties were the primary period for the development of family therapy. Bateson, Haley and Jackson coined the “Double Bind “Hypotheses as a major contribution to emotional disturbance.

On May 17, 1953, The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that “separate but equal” was not equal in the Brown vs Topeka (Board of Education) discussion and segregation was legally ended. It started a whole chain of events, the repercussion of which continues today. The following year, Dr. Martin Luther King led a boycott to protest a law requiring African-Americans to sit in the back of the bus.

The 7th Decade (1960-1970)

The 60’s was a decade of great change and a decade of much chaos. John F Kennedy was elected President after the “Great Debate” with Nixon on TV. 110 million voters watched that show and made their choice. This was followed in short order by: The Bay of Pigs disaster; Martin Luther King’s leadership toward Equal Rights, demonstrations sit ins, freedom riders, and the March on Washington, and The Civil Rights Act & voting Rights Acts.

The assassinations of: JFK, MLK and Bobby Kennedy. The Berlin Wall riots in major cities throughout the Country. The Cuban missile crisis, The Vietnam War, the creation of the Peace Corps. And of course, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Hippies and the Frist Man on the Moon in 1969.

In medicine and mental health we find the introduction of the Community Mental Health Act and child guidance clinics and become affiliated with universities, departments and academic discipline. The AACP established its own Journal in 1961 and for the first time the discipline has a voice that was specifically its own. Neonatology makes its appearance in 1960. Skinnerian psychology/apparent conditioning is introduced to the treatment of autistic children. In 1962, Kempe published the first report in the medical literature of “the battered child”. Bizarrely the Community Mental Health Center Act included “All the people of the Country” but made no specific mandate for children (despite its emphasis on prevention). In the 1960’s, the University of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia was forced to integrate which the help of the Federal Government Julius Richmond, an outstanding Pediatrician, introduced a plan that became Project Head Start which he headed in 1965. The first Joint Commission on the Mental Health for Children was legislated by Congress in 1965. Dr. Reginald Lourie one of the nation’s leading Child Psychiatrist a past President of AACP, and Director of Child Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital (D.C.) was asked to organize it. It aligned the nation’s energies toward the mental health needs of the child.

1965 also marked the dawn of a new era, The American Journal of Psychiatry reported and article “The Catecholamine Hypothesis of Affective disorders, A Review of Supporting Evidence.” The Synopsis became the center of research.

“A major transformation was underway within the structure of AACP.” Originally it was an Academy which would accept as member only those who “made outstanding contributions to the field. “ In short order, however it was struggling with money questions as to how great sis ones contribution have to be in order to merit membership, as well as the fact that there were a large number of competent active child psychiatrists as work in the country who were not represented within its ranks. In the late 60’s this matter came under ever more intense review, and finally, in 1969, by vote of the membership, it’s opened its rolls to all practitioners of Child Psychiatry. Within a year its roster of members tripled from 300 to 900.

The 8th Decade (1970-1980)

For the first time in 1970 found the US with over 200 million people. The Vietnam War ended, but not before the rebellions that swept colleges came to their peak; on May 4, 1970 at Kent State University in Ohio, the students staged an anti- war demonstration, the National Guard was called in, and before the day was over, 4 students were killed and 9 were wounded. This sent a profound shock through America.

The Water-Gate break inked to the resignation of President Nixon, the first time a sitting President had to resign from office. In 1973 there was the Arab Oil Embargo leading to long lines at gasoline stations.

Congress passed Public Law 94-142, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (10EA) which said that "Every child has a right to a public education regardless of their handicap." It revolutionized public schools in that they had to educate all children and led to almost universal availability of special education."

In AACP major changes were happening. The Regional Assembly became an official part of AACP. Ginger Bausch Anthony became the first Executive Director in 1973 (where she remained until 2012). The first Newsletter was published in 1975 and in 1978 was started Project Future under the direction of Drs. Irving Phillips, Norbert Enzer, and Richard Cohen. It was monumental work.

Early in the decade Larry Stone wrote the Standards for Pediatric Facilities for Children as AACP integrates with JCAH. In 1978, AACP was accepted into the Council of Academic Societies of the American Association of Mental Colleges.

Child Psychiatry/AACP had reached adulthood!

The 9th Decade (1980-1990)

As Jimmy Carter was leaving office and Ronald Regan was becoming President of the U.S., inflation was sky-rocketing and the Nation was turning conservative in its politics and less Federal money was being spent on education and Social welfare.

In 1989 the Soviet Union collapsed and the fears communism ended.

AACP started a building fund in 1981 and purchased its present residence at 3615 Wisconsin Avenue, in Washington D.C. In 1983. The Journal went from a quarterly to a bi-monthly publication. Helen Beiser led the AACP to be elected to a seat in the AMA House of Delegates in 1986. Pressures led to a change in the name of the Academy to include Adolescence in our title and so we became AACAP in 1988. The decade of the 80's found the birth of the Work Group on Quality Issues and the Practice Parameters which resulted.

The 10th Decade (1990-2000)

The Berlin Wall fell in 1990 and the Hubble Space Telescope was launched. The Gulf War began in 1991. The World Wide Web is publicly debuted as an Internet service and life as we knew it is changed by IT revolution. The Cold War ends and the USSR dissolve. A truck bomb explodes in the parking garage under The World Trade Center in 1993 and terrorism come to the US the Oklahoma City bombings kills 168 and wounds 800. The Lewinsky Scandal cripples the Clinton Presidency in 1998-1999.

The Academy continues to make progress. 1990 found the Furman Initiative on Public Education and Psychiatry began under the leadership of Owen Lewis and Harold Koplewitz.

IDEA (1975) is renewed and reformed as ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Together these events led to major increases of child psychiatrists providing mental health consultation to schools. The AACAP establishes an office of Research and a department of Clinical Affairs. In 1996 Congress passed the Mental Health Parity Act and in 1997 the State Children Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)

The 11th Decade (2000-2010)

The new millennium opens with the election of George W. Bush and in 2001, September 11th, to be exact are the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and a field in Shanlesville, PA killing nearly 3,000 people. The World has changed for Americans. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq follow and Congress passes the Patriot Act. Same sex marriage starts being legalized in states,Massachusetts being the first. An African-American becomes President in 2008 as the stock market crashes and we enter The Great Recession.

In 2008 as there are increases in work groups and Task Forces at AACAP: Juvenile Justice,Research,Work Force Issues. In 2002 The Academy begins The Campaign for Americas Kids and U.S News World Report, awards AACAP web page the best one in Child Mental Health.

Academy President Drell indicates Back to Project Future which will explore as to what child psychiatry can and should plan in years to come.

In 2012 Ginger Anthony retires and Heidi Fordi becomes AACAP's second Executive Director.