foundations from the Foundation

foun•da•tion     noun     a basis upon which something stands or is supported

The field of Rehabilitation Psychology arose from the multiple schools of thought that were present or emerged in the first half of the 20th century. The founders of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology and the scholars who sought to understand the psychology of disability are the foundation upon which our specialty was built. Their scholarly writing provides a historical context for how the field conceptualizes issues today.

The Board of Directors of the Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology thought that current students and professionals in the field might find interest in some of the early writings of the psychologists whose writings have provided the theoretical underpinning for the specialty of Rehabilitation Psychology. As a service to the field, board members will periodically highlight published work by these Rehabilitation Psychology pioneers. For those interested in reading the original publication, PDF links are posted below. We hope to strengthen the field by linking the present with our rich past.

Roger G. Barker, PhD (1903-1990)
Barker, R. G.  (1943). Psychological aspects of rehabilitation. Psychological Bulletin, 40 (6), 451-453.
PDF of the article

Wilbert "Bill" Fordyce, PhD (1923-2009)  
Fordyce, W. E., Fowler, R. S. Jr., Lehmann, J. F., Delateur, B. J., Sand, P. L., Trieschmann, R. B. (1973). Operant conditioning in the treatment of chronic pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 54 (9), 399-408.
PDF of the article

Tamara Dembo, PhD (1902-1993)  
Dembo, T. (1964). Sensitivity of One Person to Another. Rehabilitation Literature, 25(8), 231-235.
PDF of the article

Lee Meyerson, PhD (1920-2002)
Meyerson, L. (1948). Physical disability as a social psychological problem. Journal of Social Issues, 4 (4), 2-10.
We were unable to obtain permission to reprint the original article; hence a summary of its content is presented here.

Roberta B. Trieschmann, PhD (1939-)  
Trieschmann, R. B. (1978-79). The role of the psychologist in the treatment of spinal cord injury. Paraplegia, 16, 212-219.
PDF of the article

Edward Taub, PhD (1931-)
Taub, E., Miller, N. E., Novack, T. A., Fleming, W. C., Nepomuceno, C. S., Connell, J. S., & Crago, J. E. (1993). Technique to improve chronic motor deficit after stroke. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation74(4), 347-354.
PDF of the article

Nancy Kerr, PhD (1933-2001)
Kerr, N. & Bodman, D.A. (1994). Disability Research Methods: An Argument for the Use of Galilean Modes of Thought in Disability Research. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 9(5), 99-122.
PDF of the article