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Louise Bates Ames (29 October 1908 - 31 October 1966) was an American psychologist specializing in child development.[1]


Ames was born in Portland, Oregon.

Ames died of cancer aged 88, at her grand-daughter's home in Cincinnati.[2] Her papers are held at the Library of Congress.[3]


From 1933 to 1950 she worked as an research assistant to Arnold Gesell at the Yale Clinic of Child Development. In 1950 she co-founded the Gesell Institute of Child Development. Active in popularizing psychology, she was a prolific co-author and hosted one of the first television shows on child development. Her work emphasised stages in child development.[4]

In 1950, she then went on to found the Gesell Institute of Human Development with her collegue from the Clinic of Child Development ,Francis Ilg.


She was president of the Society for Projective Techniques between 1969 and 1971.


She was editor of the following journals:

Media activityEdit

Ames was very active in the media.

  • In 1952 she started to write a a daily newspaper column 'Child behavior' which was syndicated in some 65 major newspaper across the US and ran for about 25 years.


  • In 1953 she delivered a weekly television show through WBZ Boston which ran for several years.
  • This was followed by a series in Cleveland and later a daily show on the Westinghouse stations.



  • The first five years of life, 1940
  • Infant and child in the culture of today, 1943
  • The child from five to ten, 1946
  • (with Frances L. Ilg) Child behavior, 1955
  • (with Frances L. Ilg and Arnold Gesell) Youth: the years from ten to sixteen, 1956
  • (with Frances L. Ilg) Parents ask, 1962
  • (with Frances L. Ilg) School Readiness, 1963
  • (with Clyde Gillespie and John W. Streff) Stop schoool failure, 1972
  • (with Ruth W. Metraux, Janet Learned Rodell and Richard Walker) Child Rorschach Responses: developmental trends from two to ten years, 1974
  • (with Frances L. Ilg and Sidney Baker) Child behavior: from the Gesell Institute of Human Development, 1981
  • Arnold Gesell: Themes of his work, 1989


  • Ames, L.B. (1943). The Gesell Incomplete Man Test as a differential indicator of average and superior behavior in preschool children. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 62,217-274
  • Ames, L.B., Ilg, F.L. (1963). The Gesell Incompltete Man Test as a measure of developmental status. Genetic Psychology Monographs. Nov;68:247-307.
  • Ames, L.B. (1966). Childrens Stories. Genetic Psychology Monographs. 74:337-396
  • Ames, L.B. (1966). Rorschach responses of negroes and whites compared. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 109,297-309
  • Ames, L.B. (1975). Are Rorschach responses influenced by socity's change? Journal of Personality Assesment, 39,439-452
  • Ames, L.B. (1984). Calibration of aging.Journal of Personality Assesment, 38,507-529


  1. Julia Grant; Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. "Ames, Louise Bates" Edward T. James; Janet Wilson James; Paul S. Boyer Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, 22–3, Harvard University Press. URL accessed 9 June 2013.
  2. Henry Fountain, Louise Ames, 88, a Child Psychologist, Dies, New York Times, Nov. 7, 1996. Accessed 9 June 2013.
  3. David Mathison, Louise Bates Ames Papers: A Finding Aid to the Collection in the Library of Congress, 2010. Accessed 9 June 2013.
  4. Hogan, John D. (2000). Lawrence Balter Parenthood in America, 48–50, ABC-CLIO. URL accessed 9 June 2013.
  5. Sheehey, N., Chapman, A.J. and Conroy, W. (1997). Biographical Dictionary of Psychology, 2nd ed. London:Routledge.

Further readingEdit

  • Ames, 'Louise Bates Ames', in Dennis Thompson & John D. Hogan, eds., A History of Developmental Psychology in Autobiography, 1966
  • Ames, 'Child Development and Clinical Psychology', in Eugene Walker, ed., The History of Clinical Psychology in Autobiography, vol.2, 1993
  • Gwendolyn Stevens and Sheldon Gardner, The Women of Psychology, vol. 2., 1982
  • Richard N. Walker, 'Louise Bates Ames', American Psychologist, 54, July 1999, p.516

External linksEdit

  • Matthew Pelcowitz, Louise Bates Ames, Psychology's Feminist Voices, 2012. Accessed 9 June 2013.

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