At George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee, the doctoral training program for research psychologists in what was then called “mental deficiency” started in 1954, long before the 1979 merger of Peabody with Vanderbilt University. On May 21–22, 2004, the program held a 50th anniversary celebration and a reunion of its faculty and graduates. The program had been funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for 49 of these years, and specifically by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) after its initiation. The program is now the longest-standing training program funded by NICHD. By 2004, it had graduated 140 PhDs (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, 2004). A 1987 NIH analysis of the Science Citation Index found that 19% of all citations of psychologists publishing on mental retardation were Peabody graduates or faculty members...
The Fiftieth Anniversary of What Appears to Be the World's First Doctoral Degree Program in Mental Retardation: Some Reminiscences of an Early Graduate
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Wolf Wolfensberger; The Fiftieth Anniversary of What Appears to Be the World's First Doctoral Degree Program in Mental Retardation: Some Reminiscences of an Early Graduate. Intellect Dev Disabil 1 February 2008; 46 (1): 64–79. doi: https://doi.org/10.1352/0047-6765(2008)46[64:TFAOWA]2.0.CO;2
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