Brazelton, T. Berry 1918–
Brazelton, T. Berry 1918–
(Thomas Berry Brazelton)
PERSONAL: Born May 10, 1918, in Waco, TX; son of Thomas Berry and Pauline (Battle) Brazelton; married Christina Lowell, December 3, 1949; children: Catherine Bowles, Pauline Battle, Christina Lowell, Thomas Berry III. Education: Princeton University, A.B., 1940; Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, M.D., 1943.
ADDRESSES: Home—23 Hawthorn St., Cambridge, MA 02138. Office—The Brazelton Touchpoints Center, 1295 Boylston St., Ste. 320, Boston, MA 02215; fax: 617-730-0074. Agent—Robert Lescher, 47 E 19th St., New York, NY 10003.
CAREER: Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY, intern, 1944; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, resident, 1945–47; Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, resident, 1947; Putnam's Children's Center, Roxbury, MA, resident in child psychiatry, 1947–50; private practice of pediatric medicine in Cambridge, MA, 1950–. Instructor at Harvard University, 1951–72, associate professor, 1972–85, professor, 1985–88, clinical professor of pediatrics emeritus, 1988–. Shady Hill School, school physician, 1966–76; Cambridge Nursery School, Cambridge, MA, school physician, 1967–70; Putnam Children's Center and Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies, researcher in child development, 1968–88; Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, MA, director of the child development unit, 1972–92. Host of What Every Baby Knows (daily cable television show), began 1984. Founder of the Brazelton Institute, the Brazelton Foundation, and the Touchpoints Project. Harry Bakwin Lecturer at New York University, 1976; Clausen Visiting Professor at University of Rochester, 1977; Frederick A. Packard Lecturer at Pediatric Society of Philadelphia; Helen Ross Lecturer at Chicago Analytic Society, 1978; John F. Kennedy Memorial Lecturer at Georgetown University, 1978; Strothers Lecturer at University of Washington, Seattle, 1978; Henry Kempe Lecturer at University of Colorado, 1979. Member of Massachusetts governor's committee on the family; member of the National Commission on Children, 1989–92. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, active duty, 1944–45.
MEMBER: American Academy of Pediatrics (head of child development, 1970), Society for Research in Child Development (president, 1987–89), American Association for Child Care in Hospitals, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Center for Clinical Infant Programs (president, 1988–91), American Association for the Advancement of Science, New England Council on Child Psychiatry, New England Pediatric Society, Massachusetts Medical Society, Zero to Three (president, 1989–91), Alpha Omega Alpha, Cambridge Badminton and Tennis Club, Barnstable Yacht Club.
AWARDS, HONORS: Award from Child Study Association of America, 1970, for Infants and Mothers; award from Council on International Nontheatrical Events, 1972, for film, Newborn; Cine Golden Eagle award from Education Development Center, 1973, for film, Gabriel; certificate of merit from Association for Children With Learning Disabilities, 1972, for article, "The Children Who Can't Sit Still"; honorary founders award from Association for Child Care in Hospitals, 1975; Lula O. Lubchenco Award in Family Medicine from University of Colorado, 1976; medal of outstanding service to children from Parents' Magazine, 1977; annual award from Massachusetts Psychological Association, 1978; film award from American Journal of Nursing, 1978, for "Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale Film"; first prize from American Film Festival, 1978, for Newborn; honorary doctorates, Russell Sage College, 1988, Northeastern University, 1990, Wheelock College and Wheaton College, 1991, Cedar Crest College, 1992, University of Lisbon, 1992, Loyola University and Tufts University, 1994, University of Massachusetts, 1995, Boston College, 1996; Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, Princeton University, 1988; Hero Award, Robin Hood Foundation, 2000, for Brazelton Touchpoints Center work in Harlem; Cardinal Health Children's Care Award, 2002; Gold Medal for Excellence in Clinical Medicine, Association of the Alumni, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.
Infants and Mothers: Individual Differences in Development, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1969, revised edition, with a foreword by Jerome S. Bruner, 1983.
Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1973, 3rd edition, MacKeith Press (London, England), 1995.
Toddlers and Parents, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1974.
Doctor and Child, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1976.
(With Victor C. Vaughn) The Family: Can It be Saved?, Year Book Medical Publishers (Chicago, IL), 1977.
(With Victor C. Vaughn) The Family: Setting Priorities, Science & Medicine Publishing (New York, NY), 1979.
On Becoming a Family: The Growth of Attachment, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 1981.
(Editor, with Noboru Kobayashi) The Growing Child in Family and Society: An Interdisciplinary Study in Parent-Infant Bonding, University of Tokyo Press (Tokyo, Japan), 1984.
To Listen to a Child: Understanding the Normal Problems of Growing Up, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1984.
Working and Caring, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1985.
(Editor, with Michael W. Yogman) Affective Development in Infancy, Ablex (Norwood, NJ), 1986.
(Editor, with Michael W. Yogman) In Support of Families, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1986.
What Every Baby Knows, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1987.
(Editor, with J. Kevin Nugent and Barry M. Lester) The Cultural Context of Infancy, Ablex (Norwood, NJ), Volume 1, 1989, Volume 2, 1991.
Families: Crisis and Caring, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1989.
(With Bertrand G. Cramer) The Earliest Relationship: Parents, Infants, and the Drama of Early Attachment, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1990.
(Editor, with Kathryn E. Barnard) Touch: The Foundation of Experience, International Universities Press (Madison, CT), 1990.
Touchpoints: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1992.
(With others) Child Care and Culture: Lessons from Africa, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1994.
Going to the Doctor (picture book for children), illustrated by Alfred Womack and Sam Ogden, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1996.
(With Stanley I. Greenspan) The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
(Author of foreword) The Children's Hospital Guide to Your Health and Development, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2001.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Touchpoints Three to Six: Your Child's Behavioral and Emotional Development, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2001.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Sleep: The Brazelton Way, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Discipline: The Brazelton Way, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Calming Your Fussy Baby: The Brazelton Way, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Feeding Your Child the Brazelton Way, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Toilet Training Your Child the Brazelton Way, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Understanding Sibling Rivalry the Brazelton Way, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
(With Joshua D. Sparrow) Mastering Anger and Aggression the Brazelton Way, Perseus (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
Also author of scripts for films, including Newborn, Gabriel, and Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale Film. Contributor to medical journals and popular magazines, including Family Circle and Redbook; author of a nationally syndicated parenting column.
SIDELIGHTS: T. Berry Brazelton is one of the best-known pediatricians and child development experts in the United States. "Few individuals have had such a significant impact on the lives of so many," Robert Walter said when awarding Brazelton the Cardinal Health Children's Care Award in 2002. "He is more than a doctor whose medical genius has contributed to the well-being of our children, he is a wise counselor who has enabled us all to become better parents."
As a doctor, Brazelton may be best known for the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, often referred to as "the Brazelton" by the pediatricians who use it. Brazelton first published the instructions for conducting this test, which measures an infant's reactions and temperament, in 1973, and updated it in 1984. However, to laypeople Brazelton is famous for the many books he has published that give advice to parents on how to raise their young children. His books generally focus on children from birth up to no more than age six, and are notable for their "characteristically comforting tone," as a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote in a review of Brazelton's Touchpoints Three to Six: Your Child's Behavioral and Emotional Development.
In Touchpoints: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development and its sequel, Touchpoints Three to Six, Brazelton discusses some of the things that children do that seem worrisome to parents (such as having imaginary friends, telling lies, and wetting the bed), explains which are normal and which may be signs of a problem that warrants professional advice, and gives parents some tools for coping. Brazelton "elegantly explains" the developmental psychology of children, Weston Kosova explained in a Newsweek review of Touchpoints. Library Journal contributor Lisa Powell Williams praised the sequel, writing that Touchpoints Three to Six "is destined to become required reading for parents and early childhood educators."
In What Every Baby Knows, Brazelton offers case studies of five families whom he counseled about problems they were having with their young children. In each of the families, the child's problem was related to larger issues in the family, including divorce and sibling rivalry. As Brazelton argues in the book, every baby is aware of such tensions in the family "and will show a sensitive parent when things are off balance." Brazelton's "tone … is reassuring and optimistic," Barbara Carroll noted in the Library Journal.
In 2003, Brazelton published three concise guides to specific aspects of raising young children: Discipline: The Brazelton Way, Calming Your Fussy Baby: The Brazelton Way, and Sleep: The Brazelton Way. These "compact and user-friendly" volumes, as a Publishers Weekly reviewer described Discipline, present Brazelton's usual, tried-and-true advice in a quick-reference package. The result, Mary Francis Wilkens concluded in Booklist, is "one of the more approachable" child-rearing series currently being published.
More recently, Brazelton began working for children in the political arena, lobbying for policies that would help to create a more child-friendly country. "We've created a society where anger and violence are right at the surface, and that's the world in which parents raise their children. We can't live in a society like this much longer," he explained to NEA Today interviewer Anita Merina in 1993.
Brazelton's book The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish also focuses on these large-scale issues, explaining what parents, teachers, and the country as a whole need to do to ensure that all children can grow up successfully. The argument made by Brazelton and coauthor Stanley I. Greenspan is "informative and thought-provoking," William Beatty remarked in Booklist, while a Publishers Weekly contributor deemed the book "a hard-hitting treatise on what children really need from their parents and from society."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Brazelton, T. Berry, What Every Baby Knows, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1987.
Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, second edition, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.
World of Health, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.
Booklist, November 15, 1996, Ellen Mandel, review of Going to the Doctor, p. 589; October 15, 2000, William Beatty, review of The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish, p. 399; September 15, 2001, Vanessa Bush, review of Touchpoints Three to Six: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Develop-ment, p. 173; February 15, 2003, Mary Frances Wilkens, review of Calming Your Fussy Baby: The Brazelton Way, p. 1026.
Fit Pregnancy, April-May, 2003, Gail Greiner, review of Calming Your Fussy Baby, p. 26.
Futurist, March, 2001, Cynthia G. Wagner, "What Children Need But May Not Get," p. 6.
Jack & Jill, March, 1997, review of Going to the Doctor, p. 11.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, January, 2004, Richard A. Weinberg, review of The Infant and the Family in the Twenty-First Century, p. 115.
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, September 3, 1996, Melinda Sacks, "T. Berry Brazelton Writes a Book Just for Children to Demystify Those Scary Doctor Visits," p. 903K7867.
Library Journal, November 1, 1987, Barbara Carroll, review of What Every Baby Knows, p. 118; November 1, 2000, Dudley Barlow, review of The Irreducible Needs of Children, p. 75; September 15, 2001, Lisa Powell Williams, review of Touchpoints Three to Six, p. 104.
Mothering, winter, 1992, Eda LeShan, review of The Earliest Relationship: Parents, Infants, and the Drama of Early Attachment, p. 75.
NEA Today, February, 1993, Anita Merina, "T. Berry Brazelton: After Spock, He's U.S.'s Top Doc," p. 9.
Newsweek, spring-summer, 1997, Weston Kosova, review of Touchpoints: Your Child's Behavioral and Emotional Development, p. 22; September 26, 2005, Anna Kuchment, "Parenting: Ditching Diapers," p. 9.
Population and Development Review, June, 1995, Margaret E. Greene, review of Child Care and Culture: Lessons from Africa, p. 434.
Publishers Weekly, September 25, 1987, review of What Every Baby Knows, p. 89; September 18, 2000, review of The Irreducible Needs of Children, p. 108; February 5, 2001, review of The Children's Hospital Guide to Your Child's Health and Development, p. 85; August 20, 2001, review of Touchpoints Three to Six, p. 76; January 20, 2003, review of Discipline: The Brazelton Way, p. 77.
Quarterly Review of Biology, June, 1997, Susan Niermeyer, review of Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, p. 235.
Time, September 4, 2000, Andrea Sachs, "Wiping Away Tears: Where Do You Turn When Tragedy Intrudes in a Child's Life? Three New Books Offer Some Guidance," p. 1; October 15, 2001, Amy Dickinson, "Getting over the Hurdles: A New Brazelton Book Shows Parents How Their Behavior Can Help Their Kids Find Their Way," p. 105.
Brazelton Foundation, http://www.brazelton.org/ (February 15, 2006).
Brazelton Institute Web site, http://www.brazelton-institute.com/ (February 15, 2006).
Brazelton Touchpoints Center, http://www.touchpoints.org/ (February 15, 2006).
World of Children, http://www.worldofchildren.org/ (November 16, 2002), "$100,000 World of Children Award Honors Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton, M.D."