George W. Albee

George Wilson Albee (1921 – July 8 2006) was a pioneer in clinical psychology, who believed societal factors were the major cause of mental illness. He was one of the leading figures in the development of community psychology.


Albee was born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, he attended Bethany College and graduated in 1943. He was drafted into the Army Air Force 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, later working for the APA as assistant executive secretary.

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.
In 1971 Albee left Case Western for a position at the University of Vermont. He remained here until his retirement in 1991.

During his career Albee was the author of groundbreaking studies in the 50's and 60's, 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. He also found time to write a humor column for his local newspaper the Longboat Observer.

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 aged 84 in Longboat Key, Florida.

Positions and awardsEdit

  • Served on Dwight D. Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter Presidential Commissions on mental health.
  • 1973 received the APA Distinguished Professional Contribution Award.
  • 1993 awarded the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal.
  • 1997 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Applied Preventive Psychology.

Preceded by:
Abraham Maslow
George Albee elected APA President
Succeeded by:
Kenneth B. Clark

See alsoEdit



  • Albee, G.W.,Bond,L.A. and Cook Monsey, T.V. (1992)(eds) Improving children's lives : Global perspectives on prevention : 15th Conference on the primary prevention of psychopathology. Sage,ISBN 0803946104
  • Albee, G.W. and Joffe,J.M.(1977) (eds). The isssues : an overview of primary prevention. Hanover, NH : University Press of New England. ISBN 0874511356
  • Ewalt, J.R. & Albee, G.W. (1959). Mental health manpower trends : a report to the staff director. New York : Basic Books
  • Joffe,J.M. & Albee, G.W. (1981). (eds)Prevention through political action and social change. Hanover, N.H. : Published for the University of Vermont by thye University Press of New England
  • Mays, V.M., Albee, G.W.,and Schneider,S.F. (1989)(eds). Primary prevention of AIDS : psychological approaches : Conference Papers Sage,ISBN 0803936001
  • Albee, G.W. et al. (1977) Primary prevention of psychopathology : Vermont Conference on the Primary Prevention of Psychopathology.
  • Albee, G.W. & Gullotta,T.P. (1997)(eds) Primary prevention works. Thousand Oaks, Calif. ; London : Sage, ISBN 0761904689 (pbk). ISBN 0761904670
  • Albee, G.W., Gordon,S. and Leitenberg,H. (1983) (eds) Promoting sexual responsibility and preventing sexual problems.Hanover ; London : Published for the University of Vermont and the Vermont Conference on the Primary Prevention of Psychopathology by University Press of New England. ISBN 0874512484
  • Joffe,J.M., Albee, G.W. and Kelly,L.D. (1984) Readings in primary prevention of psychopathology : basic concepts. Hanover, N.H. ; London : Published for the University of Vermont and the Vermont Conference on the Primary Prevention of Psychopathology by University Press of New England,ISBN 0874513030 (pbk). ISBN 0874512956

Book ChaptersEdit


Further readingEdit

  • Kessler, M., Goldston,S.E.and Joffe,J.M. (1992) (eds) The Present and future of prevention : in honor of George W. Albee. Newbury Park, Calif. ; London : Sage,

ISBN 0803945906

External linksEdit

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