• Earned B.A. from St. Lawrence University in 1968, and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies
from Cornell University in 1973.
• President of the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development from 1985- 1994.
• In 1985, he collaborated with John Merrow to produce “Assault on the Psyche,” a videotaped program
dealing with psychological abuse.
• Undertook missions for UNICEF to assess the impact of the Gulf War upon children in Kuwait and Iraq.
• Currently Co-Director of the Family Life Development Center and Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of
Human Development at Cornell University.
• 1975 -- named a “Spencer Fellow” by the National Academy of Education
• Dr. Garbarino received the Silver Award at the International Film and Television Festival of New York for co-
authoring “Don't Get Stuck There: A Film on Adolescent Abuse.” in 1981.
• In 1985, he received the first C. Henry Kempe Award, in recognition of his efforts on behalf of abused and
• Claire Bedard, James’ partner: interest in spiritual
• James Gilligan, his friend: interest in violence
• Also influenced by his own interests: contemplative
thought, violence in children
• Interested in violence in children, especially in boys (Lost Boys)
• Violence in children is caused by several factors:
– Attachment problems
• Dissociation from feelings of fear and anxiety
– Abandonment by mother/father
• Leads to skewed view of family figures/roles
• Feelings of rejection
– Abuse and neglect
• Combination of these factors = creation of toxic environment
• Toxic environment leads to a “lost childhood”
– Lack of empathy, affirmation, idea of a future orientation
– Low self-esteem, intelligence levels
• Eliminate violence in the classroom.
• Be a role model.
– Provide support, affirmation that children have value and
• Have the ability to identify behavioral problems and stop
• Introduce ideas about future life plans or career choices, and
ways to support and prepare children for them.
• Provide a way for children to socialize without violence and
actions they have seen at home.
• Studies are too gender-based (focuses too much on
differences between boys and girls)
• Oversimplified theory
– Doing “x” may not always lead to “y”
• All children are different; these ideas won’t work for everyone
• His ideas are not widely critiqued