NICHD CHILD ABUSE RESEARCH CHRONOLOGY: 1962-1980
James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
1968 Published Conference
of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) on Perspectives On Human Deprivation: Biological, Psychological, and Sociological that established
the mission of the NICHD on the
effects of maternal-social deprivation
(mother-infant separation) upon infants, children
and society. As a result of
their reviews, the authors of the four chapters are unanimous in urging that high priority and massive
support be given to expansion
of research in psychosocial deprivation.
1970. TIME LIFE FILMS ROCK-A-BYE BABY. LOTHAR WOLFF, Executive Producer. James W. Prescott, Scientific Director. Documentary: Mother-Infant-Separation .National- International Awards. CINE Golden Eagle Award. http://www.violence.de/tv/rockabye.html
Prescott, J.W. (1971). Early somatosensory deprivation as an ontogenetic process in the abnormal development of the brain and behavior. In: Medical Primatology 1970. (I.E. Goldsmith and J. Moor-Jankowski, Eds). S. Karger, Basel, New York. http://www.violence.de/prescott/mp/article.html
Berman, A.J., Berman, D. & Prescott, J.W. (1974). The effect of cerebellar lesions on emotional
behavior in the rhesus monkey. In: The Cerebellum,
Epilepsy and Behavior. (Cooper, I.S., Riklon, M.V. & Snider, R.S. (Eds) Plenum, NY
Response of the NICHD to a memo on
child abuse and neglect from Sectretary Weinberger. The NICHD will fund a conference in
1974 and will contribute a budget
of $200,000 for fiscal year 1974 to the examination of the problem.
Prescott, J.W. (1975) Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence. TheFuturist April. Reprinted: The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists (1975) November. http://www.violence.de/prescott/bulletin/article.html
Heath, R. G. (l975): Maternal-social deprivation and abnormal brain development: Disorders of emotional and social behavior. In Brain Function and Malnutrition: :Neuropsychological Methods of Assessment Prescott, J.W., Read, M.S., &Coursin, D.B., Eds).John Wiley New York. http://www.violence.de/heath/bfm/article.html
1975. Memo: April 15, 1975 New Director Kretchmer, NICHD removed NICHD of its agency responsibility to support research on child abuse and neglect and violated the Directive of Secretary Caspar Weinberger to the NICHD. NICHD decided not to publish conference proceedings on child abuse and neglect. View Document
1975. Memo: May 22, 1975
"The Director, NICHD, has decided not to commit the funds necessary to publish the proceeding of the above indicated research conference. In lieu of this effort, the NICHD has concluded an agreement with NIMH to supply up to $15,000 for a collaborative study of abuse and neglect of adolescents. Dr. Ira Lourie, of NIMH, will be in charge of the study." -- signed Jehu C. Hunter, Acting Associate Director for Program Planning and Evaluation, NICHD, NIH
1975. May 14, 1975
Memo to Jehu C. Hunter from Joseph Bobbitt, Ph.D. It explicity states that DHEW Secretary Weinberger
is upset by the lack of response from various federal agencies to his
directive to increase activity and research on child abuse and neglect.
"He finally said that perhaps the Secretary would have to remind the
agencies and set fiscal obligations as he did for FY [fiscal year] 74."
Bobbitt stated "that specific requirements
were never set for FY 75 (but that NICHD had maintained its FY 1974
1977. Memo: Dec. 29, 1977
Memo Scientist Administrator Prescott
to Director NICHD, Kretchmer. Summary of situation and request to
fund the research project of Dr. A. Riesen
on Somatosensory Deprivation.
Prescott, J.W. (l979): Deprivation of physical affection as a primary process in the development of physical violence. In. Child Abuse and Violence (Gil, D. G., Ed). AMS Press New York pp 66-137.
1979. Memo: Dec. 29, 1977
Memo Scientist Administrator Prescott to Director NICHD, Kretchmer. Summary of situation and request to fund the research project of Dr. A. Riesen on Somatosensory Deprivation.
1979. Memo: Jan. 30, 1978
Reply by Kretchmer. Rejects idea to initiate a high priority program on the developmental neurobiology of socialization.
1979. Memo: May 22, 1979
NICHD internal memo to Health Scientist Administrator Dr. James W. Prescott prohibits him from any activity to further research on child abuse.
"Please note the attached memorandum to DRG. Child abuse falls within the NIMH's stated referral guidelines and appears nowhere within NICHD's guideline or mission; therefore, assignment to NICHD is inappropriate."
have requested that DRG make no further assignments to HD in child
abuse. Further, you are instructed not to program grant applications or
contract proposals in this area." -- signed Betty H. Pickett,
Ph.D., Acting Director, CRMC (NICHD)
1979. Memo: June 15, 1979 – Analysis Denied
updated statistics on infant/child mortality rates for an extended
epidemiological study. He then requested permission to use computer time
at DCRT for $500 to do additional analysis. Betty H. Pickett of the
NICHD denied it. Today (1999) the data is still not analyzed and
continuation of studies requested was denied. These denials and
rejections occurred despite the NICHD responsibility on epidemiological
studies on infant mortality. See 1998 NICHD studies on infant homicide
View Prescott's Request
View Pickett's Denial
NICHD Ref. Guidelines of 1978 (Below)
1979. August 16, 1979
Government memo from S. Stephen Schiaffino, Ph.D. , Deputy Director, DRG (Director of Research Grants) to Dr. James Prescott, NICHD. It establishes that NICHD had an official policy to support research on: "child abuse and the unwanted child." according to the NICHD Referral Guidelines of 1970 and 1973. This language was removed in later editions by Dr. Kretchmer, which permitted Dr. Pickett to state in her memo of May 22 (above) that this subject matter nowhere appears in the Referral Guidelines.
September 1973: NICHD Referral Guidelines. To support work on "child abuse and the unwanted child" and on "social growth".
January 1978: NICHD Referral Guidelines. To support work on:
1980. Letter: April 4, 1980
Letter from Thomas E. Malone, Ph.D., Deputy Director, NIH to Dr. Prescott that his complaint to the Secretary, DHEW against Dr. Kretchmer titled "Obstruction of Science and the National Health Interest" has been treated as a personal grievance and not as a formal complaint for violation of Public Laws and which requested a review of the unlawful actions of the Director, NICHD and to take corrective actions by the Secretary, DHEW, Joseph Califano. This action by the NIH prevented a Departmental review of changed national science policy of the NICHD established by the Congress in Public Law 89-487; and reduced my complaint to one of "personal interest" rather than actions "in support of the Institute's policy and programs".
1980. Letter: April 25, 1980
NICHD Health Scientist Administrator Dr. James Prescott is removed from service. Reason: "Removal for improper use of official position and resources to promote research on 'Developmental Origins of Violence' and 'Child Abuse and Neglect', subjects that are not within the mission of the NICHD, as part of the program of this institute."
On the same paper the
exact name and location of Prescott's employing office is shown: "PHS,
National Institute of Health, National Institutes of Child Health and
Human Development, Center for Research for Mothers and Children, Human
Learning & Behavior BR"
1980. Letter: April 18, 1980
of Leona H. Egeland, Chairwoman, Ways
and Means Subcommittee on Health and Welfare, California State Assembly,
to Senator Alan Cranston. About "a serious problem that appears to have
developed within the National Institute of Health."
1980. Letter: Feb. 19, 1980
Acting Director Pickett's reply to Senator Alan Cranston, Chairman,
Subcommittee on Child and Human Development, United States Senate.
Stating: "The NICHD has never supported a program of research on child
abuse and neglect."
1980. Letter: July 11, 1980
Letter of John Money, Professor of
Medical Psychology and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Johns
Hopkins Medical Institutions to Senator Alan Cranston. Statement: "I would like to recommend very strongly that you
do not accept Dr. Pickett's statement about research into child abuse
and neglect at NICHD at face value, for they do not hold water."
Prescott, J. W. (1979). Alienation of
Affection. Psychology Today
Prescott, J.W. (1980). Somatosensory affectional deprivation (SAD) theory of drug and alcohol use. In:Theories On Drug Abuse: Selected Contemporary Perspectives. Dan J. Lettieri, Mollie Sayers and Helen Wallenstien Pearson, Eds.) NIDA Research Monograph 30, March 1980. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Department of Health and Human Services. Rockville, MD. http://www.violence.de/prescott/nida/drug.pdf
1980. Article: March 15, 1980
Federal Employee" reports under "NIH Hatchet-Job on Distinguished
Scientist" that Prescott as "One of the Government's foremost expert in
the field of child abuse soon may be railroaded out of his job...".
1980. Article: Oct. 7, 1980
1981. Letter: February 23, 1981
to DHHS Secretary Richard S. Schweiker
from Senator Charles McC. Mathias, Jr stating his concerns: "It is clear that if
we are to meet our goal of reducing deaths among young people by 20
percent by 1990, we must identify better ways of bringing violence under
control, and we must put our knowledge to work in every community". and "Could you inform me of the nature and level
of NICHD support for basic research into child abuse and neglect and
into the developmental origins of violence?
1981. Letter: May 11, 1981
Letter to Senator McC Mathias, Jr. from DHHS Secretary Richard S. Schweiker (some 3 months later) presenting the level of support of child abuse and neglect research by the NICHD, yet stating: "The NICHD has never supported a program of research on child abuse and neglect".
Child abuse and
neglect (failure of affectional bonding) results in
traumatic brain injury that has yet to be studied by the NICHD and other
federal agencies utilizing MRI and fMRI brain scans and compared to
children and young adults who have been breastfed for "two years or
longer" with no history of child abuse and neglect.
1982. Address, October 26. . Invited Address C. Everett Koop, M.D., PHS Surgeon
General and Deputy Assistant Secretary For Health, American Academy of
Pediatrics: Violence and
1983, Prescott, J.W. (1983). Invited Address: The Quadrune Brain: Cerebellar Regulation of Emotional Behaviors. European Seminar on Developmental Neurology. Institute fuer Kindesentwicklung, GmbH. Hamburg, Germany February 14-17, 1983.
Prescott, J.W. (l990): Affectional
bonding for the prevention of violent behaviors: Neurobiological, Psychological and
Religious/Spiritual Determinants. In. Violent Behavior Vol. I: Assessment and
Intervention. (L.J. Hertzberg, et. al., Eds). PMA Publishing NY
1992 SSSS. Address: Brain Sexual Dimorphism: Cerebellar-Frontal Cortical Connectivity
Prescott, J.W. (1992). Sexual Dimorphism in the Developing Human Brain: Evidence from Lateral Skull X-Rays. Presented in Symposium: "Genes, Hormones and Sexual Behavior" R.T.Francoeur, Chairman). The Society For The Scientific Study of Sex. 1992 Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA November 12-15. Hilton Beach and Tennis Resort. http://www.violence.de/prescott/ssss/paper.pdf
1994. Letter: July 7, 1994
The White House,
Letter by George R. Stephanopoulos, Senior Advisor to the President for
Policy and Strategy, to James Prescott: "Your findings on this topic
should prove beneficial to how our society perceives growing children."
This letter was the only reaction after the White House received
documentation of Prescott's work a month before.
1994. Publication of the "Report of the Panel on NIH Research on Antisocial, Aggressive, and Violence-Related Behaviors and their Consequences", Panel Meetings in June and September 1993. (Participant Dr J. W. Prescott, BioBehavioral Systems, San Diego, CA. He presented this testimony.)
Excerpts of the NIH 1994 Report:
a) NIH Panel Findings and Recommendations: "Violence constitutes the second leading cause of death for youth in America, and it poses a health risk for persons of all ages." (Further Panel Findings and Recommendations)
b) The NIH RESEARCH PORTFOLIO: "With the exception of the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), violence research has not been a major priority at NIH (25)". View Page 75.
c) "In fiscal 1992 the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development spent about $8.9 million on research related to violence (33) (...) Other ongoing research projects focus on such things as self-injurious behavior, aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, the effect of domestic violence on young children (child abuse), and intervention to lower violence-related morbidity and mortality among minority youth." View Page 76.
d) Appendix F: "devoting as much money to peace studies as to studies of violence" (46) This is the only reference to Dr. Prescott's extensive testimony. No mention of history of NICHD research on child abuse and neglect nor developmental origins of violence. View Page 121.
e) Summary September 22-24, 1993 meeting: 2nd paragraph: "To date, investment across all Institutes and ICDs in violence-related research has been minuscule relative to the total NIH budget (i.e.0.5%)." View Page 138. http://www.violence.de/history/NIHR_1994.html
Prescott, J.W. (1996). The Origins of Human Love and Violence. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal. 10(3):143-188.Spring. http://www.violence.de/prescott/pppj/article.html
Prescott, J.W. (2003). Our Two Cultural Brains: Neurointegrative and Neurodissociative that are formed by Pain and Pleasure Life Experiences encoded in the Developing Brain http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/Our_Two_Cultural_Brains.pdf
J.W.(2005): Prevention Or Therapy And The Politics of Trust: Inspiring a
New Human Agenda. in
The above Chronology of
NICHD Research Activities on Child Abuse and Neglect, established by an
Act of Congress (PL 87-838), on October 17, 1962 to its termination
on April 11, 1980 by
the unlawful termination of Dr. James W. Prescott, as Health Scientist
Administrator, Developmental Behavioral Program, NICHD who created and
led the Child Abuse Research Program, NICHD is provided for those who
are interested in why child abuse/ neglect and violence continues today as "one of the most extensive and
chronic epidemics in the Public Health of this country." (Surgeon
General Koop (October 26, 1982).
1980. Publication. COSMOS. Carl Sagan http://www.violence.de/BOOKS_OF_THE_CENTURY.html#Cosmos