Maccoby, Eleanor E(mmons) 1917-
Eleanor Maccoby's work on gender development, on the impact of divorce on children and families and parent-child interactions, and on child rearing practices has greatly informed the field of human development. In 1970, with Miriam Zellner, Maccoby described the underlying psychological concepts fueling various Project Follow Through programs (a government funded educational reform similar to Head Start). Their work, which focused on facilitating at-risk students' academic and social development, continues to be at the forefront of research in educational psychology and school reform. Similarly, Maccoby's research on the biological underpinnings of gender identity (1974, with Carol Jacklin) continues to help inform educators about the within-group differences of male and female groups, as well as the rather limited between-group differences of children's behavior and socialization practices. In addition, Macco-by's gender segregation research highlights the adult controlled contextual aspects of educational environments that reinforce and further promote children's (particularly girls') preferences for same sex playmates and peer groups through adolescence.
Born in 1917, Eleanor Maccoby began her college career at Reed College in 1934 and later transferred and received her BS in psychology from the University of Washington in 1939. After working for the Department of Agriculture's Division of Program Surveys as a study director, Maccoby completed her MS in 1949 from the University of Michigan, as well as her PhD in experimental psychology in 1950. While at Michigan she taught survey research methods and served as study director in the Survey Research Center (APA). Maccoby completed her dissertation in B.F. Skinner's lab; however, over time her theoretical interests shifted from behaviorism to learning theory, cognitive development, and interaction. Her early work with Robert Sears and Harry Levin at Harvard on parent-child interactions continues to be influential. At Harvard (1950–1958), Maccoby was an instructor and lecturer in the Department of Social Relations (APA). She joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Stanford University in 1958 and was awarded emerita status in 1987. Since that time Maccoby has continued her research and commentary on topics ranging from the lifespan development of gender differences and socialization processes to adaptive outcomes of divorce and the impact of media exposure on children and families, as well as out of the home childcare.
Maccoby's publications number well over 100, including her most cited co-authored book with Carol Jacklin, Psychology of the Sex Differences (1974). The work of Sex Differences was instrumental in summarizing extant literature on gender differences, encompassing more than 1,300 previous works. Also important is her work on the Stanford Longitudinal Study (1984, with Jacklin), which used a cross-sequential design to provide a comprehensive description of the development of same-sex play groups and group processes. Throughout Maccoby's career her research has focused on in-depth longitudinal analyses of human development, and it has offered great insight into the role that teachers can play in students' lives, as well as the impact parenting style on children's development.
Maccoby is the recipient of numerous distinguished and lifetime career awards and positions, including the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 7 Gordon Stanley Hall Award in 1982, the American Educational Research Association's Distinguished Contributions in Educational Research Award in 1984; the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD's) Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development in 1987; the APA's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1988; and the American Psychological Foundation's Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Science of Psychology in 1996 (APA, 2007). In addition, she was the first female chair of the Department of Psychology at Stanford. As of 2007 she was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and had served as president of SRCD and the Consortium of Social Science Association (APA).
Maccoby, E. E., & Zellner, M. (1970). Experiments in primary education: Aspects of project follow through. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. (1974). The psychology of sex differences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Maccoby, E. E. & Jacklin, C. N (1984). Gender segregation in childhood. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 20, 239-287.
Maccoby, E. E., Mnookin, R. H., Depner, C. E., & Peters, H. E. (1992). Dividing the child: Social and legal dilemmas of custody. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Buchanan, C. M., Maccoby, E. E., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1996). Adolescents after divorce. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Maccoby, E. E. (1998). The two sexes: Growing up apart, coming together. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press.
Eleanor Maccoby. (2007). Retrieved April 10, 2008, from www.apa.org/Science/wist/maccoby.html.
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