History Of Latino Psychology Essay
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
History Of Latino Psychology Essay
Synopsis of key persons, events, and associations in the history of Latino psychology
Padilla, Amado M; Olmedo, Esteban. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology Vol. 15, Iss. 4, (Oct 2009): 363-373. DOI:10.1037/a0017557
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In this article, we present a brief synopsis of six early Latino psychologists, several key conferences, the establishment of research centers, and early efforts to create an association for Latino psychologists. Our chronology runs from approximately 1930 to 2000. This history is a firsthand account of how these early leaders, conferences, and efforts to bring Latinos and Latinas together served as a backdrop to current research and practice in Latino psychology. This history of individuals and events is also intertwined with the American Psychological Association and the National Institute of Mental Health and efforts by Latino psychologists to obtain the professional support necessary to lay down the roots of a Latino presence in psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: journal abstract)
First Generation of Latino Psychologists
George I. Sanchez
Carlos Albizu Miranda
Rene A. Ruiz
National Associations and Organizations
The 1978 Dulles Conference
National Latino Research Centers
Spanish Speaking Mental Health Research Center (SSMHRC)
The Spanish Family Guidance Center
Hispanic Research Center
Lake Arrowhead, California, Conference
Figures and Tables
In this article, we present a brief synopsis of six early Latino psychologists, several key conferences, the establishment of research centers, and early efforts to create an association for Latino psychologists. Our chronology runs from approximately 1930 to 2000. This history is a firsthand account of how these early leaders, conferences, and efforts to bring Latinos and Latinas together served as a backdrop to current research and practice in Latino psychology. This history of individuals and events is also intertwined with the American Psychological Association and the National Institute of Mental Health and efforts by Latino psychologists to obtain the professional support necessary to lay down the roots of a Latino presence in psychology.
Our purpose here is to provide a firsthand account of contemporary developments in the field of Latino psychology between 1930 and 2000. We begin by presenting the careers of early pioneer Latino psychologists who contributed in significant ways to psychology in general and to Latino psychology in particular. These psychologists are deceased, but all left a lasting imprint on Latino scholarship because of their research, commitment to their cultural roots, and their advocacy on behalf of future generations of Latino psychologists. We discuss these pioneers in the context of their time and the struggles they overcame as Latino psychologists when there were no ethnic role models and when culture was not valued in the discourse of psychological inquiry as it is today.
In addition, we highlight several major developments that also contributed in unique ways to Latino psychology. The events in particular have to do with the creation of professional associations and centers of research that contributed directly or indirectly to the professional development of Latinos in psychology. Our historical account is not intended to be comprehensive but rather heuristic, with the goal of encouraging others to take up the study of the history of Latino psychology. Our perspective too is personal because we knew most of the individuals whose names we give in this history or participated in the events documented here. [ 1 ]
First Generation of Latino Psychologists
George I. Sanchez
The first Latino psychologist was George I. Sanchez (1906–1972). Nathan Murillo (1977) wrote an excellent biography of Sanchez for the first volume of Chicano Psychology (Martinez, 1977). At the conclusion of editing Chicano Psychology, Joe Martinez dedicated the volume to George Sanchez and called him the father of Chicano psychology. Sanchez was born in New Mexico and spent most of his professional career in Texas. Throughout his life, Sanchez was an advocate of social justice and an activist for the rights of Chicanos. Sanchez received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and for a time was on the faculty in education at the University of New Mexico and then became professor of Latin American education at the University of Texas at Austin. At Berkeley, Sanchez concentrated his studies on what would today be educational psychology, but remember that this was in the late 1920s and early 1930s and psychology was still evolving as a field of study.
The earliest contributions to Latino psychology are found in four articles Sanchez authored between 1932 and 1934 on the topic of intelligence testing of Mexican American children. In these four articles, Sanchez (1932a, 1932b, 1934a, 1934b) argued that standard intelligence tests lacked validity when used to assess Mexican American children. Sanchez provided exceptional insights into why IQ testing of Chicano children was inappropriate when these children did not have the same life experiences or English-language proficiency as majority-group children, on whom the tests had been standardized. More important, at the time these articles were written and published, the intelligence testing movement was beginning to be used to justify the eugenics movement and to foster the belief in the intellectual superiority of Whites (Jackson & Weidman, 2006), The four articles are as appropriate today as they were nearly 80 years ago. Not surprisingly, mainstream psychologists at the time ignored Sanchez’s call for caution in testing Mexican American children (Padilla, 1988). Even today, there are concerns about high-stakes educational testing of Latino children on tests similar to those discussed by George Sanchez some seven decades earlier (Borsato & Padilla, in press). In addition, Sanchez also published one of the earliest articles on the acculturation of Latinos in New Mexico (Sanchez, 1941). This monograph would likely also garner Sanchez the title of Chicano sociology, although no one has done this to our knowledge.
Sanchez continued to contribute to the educational and social science literature for many years. His last publication was a keynote address at a conference in the early 1970s on bilingual education titled “Educational Change in Historical Perspective,” which appeared in the volume Mexican Americans and Educational Change, edited by Alfredo Castaneda, Manuel Ramirez III, Carlos E. Cortes, and Mario Barrera (1971). In this article, Sanchez expressed his anger and disappointment with the poor academic progress that Latino students had made in education. He expressed his frustration with these words:
While I have championed the cause of educational change for American children of Mexican descent for more than 45 years, and while I have seen some changes and improvements in this long-standing dismal picture, I cannot, in conscience or as a professional educator, take any satisfaction in those developments. The picture is a shameful and an embarrassing one. (p. 14)
Sanchez, as he had done countless times before, pointed the blame at an educational system that either failed or chose to neglect the impact of poverty, cultural and linguistic differences, discrimination, and educational inequity on Mexican American students in public education. His call for reform in education is as relevant today as it was nearly 40 years ago.
Another major figure in the history of Latino psychology is Alfredo Castañeda (1923–1981). He earned his bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University in 1948 and received his master’s (1951) and doctorate (1952) from Ohio State University. After receiving his doctorate, he served as an assistant professor at the State University of Iowa, where he remained until 1959. Castañeda moved to the University of Texas at Austin in 1959 for a full professorship in clinical psychology, where he also served as director of child research. He remained at the University of Texas through 1962 and subsequently relocated to New York City, where he held various teaching and research positions until 1968. During the period 1968–1970, he served as professor of psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. At the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, he was also a faculty member at the Institute for Child Study.
Manuel Ramirez III (1981) eulogized Castañeda in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences with these words: “With the passing of Alfredo Castañeda, the fields of psychology and education have lost an important leader and pioneer” (p. 107). As a leader in psychology, Castañeda was one of the most cited and prolific researchers in the area of child experimental psychology from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s. In 1970, Castañeda made a break with his earlier and more traditional experimental work and became professor of education and chairman of Mexican American Studies at the University of California, Riverside. This marked an intense and productive period in which he concentrated his talents on bilingual and multicultural education.
It is difficult to summarize in a few lines the impact that Castañeda’s research and writing had on psychology. For more than two decades, Castañeda was known for his creative laboratory experiments on such diverse topics as the development of word association norms for children, paired associate learning in children, development of the Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale, conflict behavior in children and adults, effects of anxiety on complex learning, and the relationship between anxiety and scholastic motivation. His papers were widely cited in the major research journals and handbooks of the time (see Reese & Lipsitt, 1970). In addition to his research and writing, he also served on the editorial board of the prestigious journal Child Development and was the first Latino to do so.
Of major significance in this history is the fact that Castañeda recognized the importance of biculturalism from a psychological perspective and with his students initiated a research program on the topic of biculturalism. This work culminated in a 1974 book with Manuel Ramirez titled Cultural Democracy, Bicognitive Development, and Education (Ramirez & Castañeda, 1974). The book offered a vision for multiculturalism in education that was on the threshold of emerging as a recognizable field in education and that argued that language and culture shaped cognition and needed to be a cornerstone in the instructional planning of Latino children.
In 1972, Castañeda was appointed professor of educational psychology at Stanford University. At Stanford, he taught two very popular graduate seminars: Cultural Pluralism and Educational Policy and Bicultural Processes in Education. Today, courses with similar titles are commonplace, but in the mid-1970s, this was a bold step in the direction of multicultural instruction, especially at an elite private university.
In addition to Castañeda’s eminence as a child experimental psychologist, he was also an important contributor to the development of Chicano studies and the professional development of Latinos in psychology. In 1973 while on the faculty at University of California, Riverside, he and Manuel Ramirez obtained funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to convene a conference to bring together Chicano psychologists for the first time. The theme of the conference was “Increasing Educational Opportunities for Chicanos in Psychology.” Chicano psychologists at this first conference called for recommendations having to do with admissions, recruitment, training, faculty and staff development, and supportive services for undergraduate and graduate Chicano students interested in pursuing a career in psychology. These recommendations were directed at Departments of Psychology, the American Psychological Association (APA), and the NIMH.
We recognize Castañeda for his groundbreaking work in showing the need for cultural pluralism in education, for Latino biculturalism as a viable alternative to cultural assimilation, and for leading the way in advocating classroom instructional strategies that could enhance the learning potential of Latino students.
Carlos Albizu Miranda
Few psychologists have had as profound an impact on the training of Latino psychologists as Carlos Albizu Miranda (1920–1984; See Figure 1). Carlos Albizu Miranda was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and lived most of his life in Puerto Rico. He completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Puerto Rico. After World War II, he worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the area of vocational rehabilitation. Later, Carlos Albizu did graduate work at Purdue University, where he completed his master’s degree in experimental psychology in 1951 and his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1953.
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Carlos Albizu Miranda – Elected First President of the National Hispanic Psychological
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