Fisher, Rhoda Lee 1924-2004

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FISHER, Rhoda Lee 1924-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born October 10, 1924, in Chicago, IL; died of complications from uterine cancer, March 21, 2004, in Medina, OH. Psychologist, educator, and author. Fisher gained wide recognition for her advice on child rearing, about which she wrote in her popular book What We Really Know about Child Rearing: Science in Support of Effective Parenting. Her initial area of study was in music education, and she earned her bachelor's in the subject from De Paul University in 1946; she then went on to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago in 1956. During the 1950s, she had a private practice in Houston, Texas, while also working at the Jewish Vocational Service from 1950 to 1952 and as a psychologist for the Medical College in Houston from 1952 to 1954. During the 1960s, she was a researcher at the State University of New York's Upstate Medical School in Syracuse from 1961 to 1964, an instructor there from 1962 to 1968, and a research psychologist for Syracuse Public Schools from 1963 to 1968. Around this time, she also published her first book, The Family (1964). Going into private practice in 1968, her next work was What We Really Know about Child Rearing (1976; second edition, 1986), a book inspired by her realization that many of the then-available advice books on the subject were not supported by hard scientific data. Her interest in child psychology also led to the unique study Pretend the World Is Funny and Forever: A Psychological Analysis of Clowns, Comedians and Actors (1981), which won a Psychology Today award in 1981. For this book, she interviewed such comedians and Sid Caesar and Jackie Mason, forming a theory she called "schlemiel children," using humor to deal with family pressures. Remaining in private practice until 2003, Fisher was the author of one other book, The Psychology of Adaptation to Absurdity: Tactics of Make-Believe (1993), and she was a contributor to the 1997's From Placebo to Panacea: Putting Psychiatric Drugs to the Test.



Chicago Tribune, March 30, 2004, Section 3, p. 9.

New York Times, March 27, 2004, p. A15.

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Fisher, Rhoda Lee 1924-2004

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