At the turn of the century, infant mortality in American institutions for infants approached 100%. Policies initiated by Henry Dwight Chapin emphasized the placement of children in “boarding out” homes as quickly as possible and an increase in social attention paid to the infants that remained in the institutions. Chapin was evidently the first behavioral scientist who employed statistical procedures to uncover a critical period for social development in institutionalized infants. His evidence suggested overwhelmingly that the 1st year of life is the most critical when normal conditions of childrearing are replaced by a state of social deprivation, and that the first 6 months are more important than the second 6 months. While his influence in the history of child psychology has virtually been forgotten, citation analysis suggests an increasing awareness of his scientific importance.
Anonymous. (1944). Henry Dwight Chapin. National cyclopedia of American biography (Vol. 31,439-441). New York: James T. White.
Chapin, H. D. (1892). The survival of the unfit. Popular Science Monthly, 41, 182–187.
Chapin, H. D. (1894). Child-study in the hospital-a record of six hundred cases. Forum, 17, 125–128.
Chapin, H. D. (1905). The work of the babies’ wards of the New York post-graduate hospital for convalescent children. Archives of Pediatrics, 22, 241–247.
Chapin, H. D. (1908a). Hospital social services. Outlook, 90, 867.
Chapin, H. D. (1980b). A plan of dealing with atrophic infants and children. Archives of Pediatrics, 25, 491–496.
Chapin, H. D. (1909). A plan of dealing with weak infants and children. Survey Charities, 21, 1267–1270.
Chapin, H. D. (1911). The proper management of foundlings and neglected infants. Medical Record, 79, 283–288.
Chapin, H. D. (1915). A plea for accurate statistics in infants’ institutions. American Pediatric Society Transactions, 27, 180–185.
Chapin, H. D. (1916). A scheme of state control for dependent infants. Medical Record, 84, 1081–1084.
Chapin, H. D. (1917). Systematized boarding out vs. institutional care for infants and young children. New York Medical Journal, 105, 1009–1011.
Chapin, H. D. (1920). Problems of boarding-out, with an attempted solution. Medical Record, 97, 677–681.
Chapin, H. D. (1923). Heredity and child culture. London: George Routledge.
Chapin, H. D. (1932a). Convalescent care for hospital babies. Journal of the American Medical Association, 82A, 40–43.
Chapin, H. D. (1932b). Foster homes for needy, sickly infants and little children. The Journal-Lancet, 52, 289–290.
Eberts, C. G., & Gray, P. H. (1982). Evaluating the historical treatment of female psychologists of distinction using citation analysis and textbook coverage. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 20, 7–10.
Garfield, E. (1979). Citation indexing: Its theory and application in science, technology, and humanities. New York: Wiley.
Gray, P. H. (1958). Theory and evidence of imprinting in human infants. Journal of Psychology, 46, 155–166.
Gray, P. H., & Gray, I. M. (1988, August). The hypothetico-deductive theory of imprinting applied to serial murder. Paper presented to the convention of the Animal Behavior Society, Missoula, Montana.
Pease, M. C. (1942). Henry Dwight Chapin, M. D. American Journal Diseases of Children, 64, 535–538.
Pease, M. C. (1957). Henry Dwight Chapin (1857-1942). In B. S. Veeder (Ed.), Pediatric profiles (pp. 68-77). St. Louis: Mosby.
This paper on Chapin follows a presentation given at the American Psychological Association convention in Washington, DC in 1986. I wish to thank Harold Bauer, who helped me dig out references, and the University of Manitoba, which provided a helpful faculty grant.
About this article
Cite this article
Gray, P.H. Henry Dwight Chapin: Pioneer in the study of institutionalized infants. Bull. Psychon. Soc. 27, 85–87 (1989). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03329906