2000: The University of Kansas

The University of Kansas Department of Human Development and Family Life (HDFL) was formed in 1963 by Professor Richard Schiefelbusch, director of the university’s Bureau of Child Research, and Dr. Frances Horowitz, research associate in the soon-to-be-disbanded home economics department. They formed HDFL from home economics’s division of child study. The university already had a well-established psychology department, so HDFL was free to specialize. It was designed with three parts: (1) a division using behavior analysis to aid understanding of human development and to ameliorate its problems, (2) a division analyzing intellectual development as an empirically researchable discrimination process, and (3) a division pursuing the experimental analysis of biological bases of development. The first division evolved to include more behavior analytic applications, the second examined the potential usefulness of cognitive science, and the third concentrated on pharmacological influences on behavior. In the process, HDFL grew from a half-dozen faculty to a department of 20 full-time faculty and more that 80 adjunct and courtesy faculty. 


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