Theorist Project

By: Brooke McDonald and Malik Moore

Benjamin Spock


Dr. Benjamin Spock, born in Connecticut on May 2, 1903, was a pediatrician that published the highly successful book, Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. He urged parents to trust their common sense, be flexible, and refrain from using corporal punishment. Benjamin McLane Spock is the oldest child in a large, strict New England family. His family was so strict that in his eighty-second year he would still be saying, "I love to dance in order to liberate myself from my puritanical [strict and conservative] upbringing." He was educated at private preparatory schools when he was young and attended Yale from 1921 to 1925, majoring in English literature. Spock had decided well before starting his medical studies that he would "work with children, who have their whole lives ahead of them." He believed that pediatricians of the time were focusing too much on the physical side of child development, so he learned psychiatry (medicine focusing on the mind) as well.

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