|Sandra Wood Scarr|
|Born:||1936 - Washington, DC|
|Current:||CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kinder Care Learning Centers; Commonwealth Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia.|
|Education:||Ph.D., Harvard University|
|Achievements:||Made major contributions in child development, intelligence, and racial differences in test performance; Founder of the American Psychological Society.|
After her graduation from Vassar with a B.A. in sociology, Sandra Wood Scarr worked for a year in a social service agency. Her work brought her into close contact with members of ethnic minority groups and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. She found herself growing increasingly dissatisfied with the treatment her agency was providing for these clients, convinced that their needs were more economic than psychological.
Scarr moved on to a position as a research assistant in the Laboratory of Socio-Environmental Studies at the National Institute of Mental Health. There she gained professional experience that helped her realize her determination to find new ways to treat members of minority groups and people of lower socioeconomic status.
Scarr used her experience and an advanced degree from Harvard to conduct important research on race and test performance, infant distress, and the application of behavioral genetics to developmental psychology. Rejecting the traditional conflict between nature and nurture, Scarr instead combined the two and incorporated into her research studies her background in sociology and anthropology. Recently she has been examining individual differences in the ways parents structure their disciplinary practices.
A founding member of the American Psychological Society and chief executive officer of Kinder Care Learning Centers, Scarr continues to be a strong advocate for research on child care.