Reid, William J(ames) 1928-2003

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REID, William J(ames) 1928-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 14, 1928, in Detroit, MI; died November 17, 2003, in Albany, NY. Social worker, educator, and author. As originator of the path-centered model in social work and founding editor of the journal Social Work Research, Reid was a pioneer in the field of social work in America. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a master's in social work in 1952, and of Columbia University, where he received his doctorate in 1963. It was after serving in the army in Korea from 1952 to 1956, during which time Reid helped soldiers suffering from psychological trauma, that he resolved for certain to make social work his life's endeavor. After the war, he worked as a caseworker for Family Service of Westchester in Mt. Kisco, New York, for three years. He then completed his doctoral studies before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago as an assistant professor of social work. Reid became George Herbert Jones professor of social work in 1975 before leaving Chicago in 1980 to become a professor in the School of Social Welfare at the State University of New York at Albany. He remained in Albany for the rest of his life and had served as chairman of the school's doctoral program since 1985. But Reid was more than an educator; an innovator and prolific author in his field, he was best known for his creation of the path-centered model in the 1970s in which he asserted, contrary to the Freudian theory that was dominant at the time, that people are able to willfully change the coarse of their behavior and are not trapped by determined psychological impulses. Reid also made strides in several areas that were his main concerns of study, including the health of family relationships and how to get adults and children off of welfare. The author of over 160 articles, Reid completed almost two dozen books, including Research in Social Work (1981; 3rd edition, 1999), Qualitative Research in Social Work (1994), Generalist Practice: A Task-Centered Approach (1994; 2nd edition, 2003), The Task Planner (2000), Science and Social Work (2001), and Educational Supervision in Social Work (2002). Just before his death, he had completed his last book, which is a study of the ways people can change their psychological makeup. For his contributions to social work research, in 2003 Reid was given an award for research excellence by the State University of New York Research Foundation's board of trustees.



Chronicle of Higher Education, December 12, 2003, p. A40.

New York Times, November 23, 2003, p. 1.

Times Union, November 23, 2003, p. D3.