George Albee

George Wilson Albee (December 20, 1921 July 8, 2006) was a pioneer in clinical psychology, who believed societal factors such as unemployment, racism, sexism, and all the myriad forms of exploitation of people by people were the major cause of mental illness. He was one of the leading figures in the development of community psychology.

George W. Albee
Born(1921-12-20)December 20, 1921[1]
DiedJuly 8, 2006(2006-07-08) (aged 84)
NationalityUnited States of America
Known forFounder of community psychology
Scientific career
FieldsCommunity psychology Human Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Research Psychology, Developmental Psychology
InstitutionsAmerican Psychological Association, Case Western Reserve, University of Vermont,


Albee was born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, he attended Bethany College and graduated in 1943. He was drafted into the Army Air Forces until the end of World War II.

After leaving the forces he attended the University of Pittsburgh where he attained his Masters and Doctorate degrees. Having received his doctorate in 1949 he spent the next two years in a research appointment at Western Psychiatric Institute. From 1951 to 1953 Albee worked for the Central Office of the American Psychological Association (APA).[2]

In 1953 Albee went to Finland for a year as a Fulbright scholar, before returning to the USA to become a Professor at Case Western Reserve University, a post he held for 16 years.[3] In 1971 Albee left Case Western for a position at the University of Vermont. He remained here until his retirement in 1991. During that time, he married Constance Impallaria,and had 4 kids: Alec, Luke, Maud and Sarah.

During his career Albee was the author of groundbreaking studies in the 1950s and 1960s, that showed societal factors such as poverty, racism, sexism and child abuse, were to a large degree responsible for mental illness. He believed the psychological profession needed to focus more on prevention, rather than one to one treatment. After his retirement Albee spent time travelling around the world giving lectures on psychology as well as writing a humor column for his local newspaper the Longboat Observer.

From 1969-70 Albee was the president of the APA. During his tenure he negotiated conflicts between the mainstream of psychology and the demands of Black and female psychologists.[2]

He was the author of more than 200 articles and book chapters on community approaches to mental illness, as well as writing more than a dozen books.

Albee died in Longboat Key, Florida.

Positions and awards


  1. "World Who's who in Science: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Scientists ... - Allen G. Debus - Google Books". 1976-12-01. Retrieved 2013-04-22 via Google Books.
  2. Albee, G. W. (2002). "Exploring a controversy". The American Psychologist. 57 (3): 161–164. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.57.3.161. PMID 11905114.
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