Edward F Zigler PhD

Sterling Prof Emeritus Psychology; Emeritus Faculty; Director, Emeritus, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development & Social Policy

Biographical Info

Edward Zigler received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1958. He joined the psychology department at Yale in 1959 and also served on the faculty of Yale’s Child Study Center. He founded and is Director Emeritus of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, one of the first centers in the nation to combine training in developmental science and social policy construction. He is currently Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, but remains active in his scholarly and social policy endeavors. In addition to being one of the founders of the field of applied developmental psychology, Dr. Zigler pioneered the discipline of developmental psychopathology as well as the developmental approach to mental retardation and adult psychopathology. He conceptualized the School of the 21st Century, which has been adopted by more than 1,300 schools in 20 states. Working with state governments and private foundations, he has played a central role in generating the momentum toward establishing universal preschool education. He is past president of two divisions of the American Psychological Association and the American Orthopsychiatric Association.

Dr. Zigler helped to plan several national projects and policies, including Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. In the early ‘70’s, he served as the founding Director of the U.S. Office of Child Development (now ACF) and Chief of the U.S. Children’s Bureau.

Dr. Zigler is the author, coauthor, or editor of over 800 scholarly publications and 40 books. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received several honorary degrees. He has served as a consultant to every administration since that of Lyndon Johnson.

Education & Training

University of Missouri, Kansas City (1954)
University of Texas , Austin (1958)

Honors & Recognition

  • Children’s Champion Award
    California Head Start Association (2011)
  • Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology Award
    American Psychological Association (2008)
  • Exceptional Contributions to Early Childhood Development Award
    Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, Montreal, Canada (2005)
  • The Joseph E. Zins Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions by a Researcher in Social and Emotinoal Learning
    Collaborative for Academic, Social & Emotional Learning (CASEL) (2011)
  • Distinguished Service Award for Service to Education
    National Association of Secondary School Principals (2011)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
    Action for Bridgeport Community Development (2009)
  • Grawemeyer Award in Psychology
    The University of Louisville (2009)
  • California Head Start Association naming honor, “Edward Zigler Western Research Institute
    California Head Start Association (2009)
  • Blanche F. Ittleson Memorial Lecture Award
    American Orthopsychiatric Association (2006)

Professional Service

  • Member, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
  • Consultant, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families
  • Member, Smith Richardson Foundation, Board of Governors
  • Life Member, Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families

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