Wednesday, December 2, 2009
134 E. Main St., Moorestown, NJ 08057
Mt. Holyoke College, 1959-1961
9/67-6/69 Norton, MA
State University College
9/69-6/71 Buffalo, NY
9/74-9/77 Pomona, NJ
Associate Professor, Professor,
9/77-2/81 Pomona NJ
Professor of Psychology,
2/81-2006 Pomona, NJ
Professor Emerita of Psychology,
, 2006-- Richard Stockton
Consulting reader, Infants and Young Children,1992-
(NJAIMH Quarterly Newsletter), 1994-1999; Editor, Phoenix
Nurture Notes (NJAIMH Newsletter), 2000-2001.
Association for Infant Mental Health, 1996-2000
Association for Infant Mental Health, 2000-2005
Past president, ex officio Board of Directors member, NJAIMH, 2005-
Member, Prevention and Early Intervention Committee,
New Jersey Community
Mental Health Board, 2000-
Consulting editor, Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 2002-
New Jersey Better Baby
Care Campaign Advisory Committee, 2002-3
Fellow, Council for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health, 2003-
Faculty member, Youth Consultation Services Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health, 2003-
Chair, Board of Professional Advisors, Advocates for Children in Therapy, 2003--
Expert witness, Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, 2005
(license revocation matter)
[*Name was legally changed from Gene Alice Lester, May, 1977]
Expert witness, Middlesex NJ Family Court, 2005 (best interest hearing)
Member, "Critical Pathways" teleconference on training and credentials (formed after ZTT/Mailman Foundation Infant Mental Health Systems Development Summit Conference, September 2005)
Expert witness, Thibault vs. Thibault, Pasco County, Florida, 2006 (child custody and discipline matter)
California vs. Sylvia
Jovanna Vasquez, Santa Barbara County, CA, 2007
(child abuse matter)
Reviewer, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2008.
Testimony, Robertson vs. Mannion, Montgomery County, PA, 2008 (child custody matter)
Founding member, Institute for Science in Medicine, 2009—
Reviewer, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 2009-
Board of Directors, Delaware Valley Group of WAIMH, 2010—
Lester, G., & Morant, R. (1967). Sound localization during labyrinthian stimulation.
Proceedings of the 75th Annual Convention of the American Psychological
Lester, G. (1968). The case for efferent change during prism adaptation. Journal of
Psychology, 68, 9-13.
Lester, G. (1968). The rod-and-frame test: Some comments on methodology. Perceptual
and Motor Skills, 26, 1307-1314.
Lester, G. (1969). Comparison of five methods of presenting the rod-and-frame test.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 29, 147-151.
Lester, G. (1969). The role of the felt position of the head in the audiogyral illusion. Acta
Psychologica, 31, 375-384.
Lester, G. (1969). Disconfirmation of an hypothesis about the Mueller-Lyer illusion.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 29, 369-370.
Lester, D., & Lester, G. (1970). The problem of the less intelligent student in the introductory psychology course. The Clinical Psychologist, 23(4), 11-12.
Lester, G., & Lester, D. (1970). The fear of death, the fear of dying, and threshold differences for death words and neutral words. Omega,1, 175-180.
Lester, G. (1970). Haidinger’s brushes and the perception of polarization. Acta
Psychologica, 34, 107-114.
Lester, G., & Morant, R. (1970). Apparent sound displacement during vestibular stimulation. American Journal of Psychology, 83, 554-566.
Lester, G. (1971). Vestibular stimulation and auditory thresholds. Journal of General
Psychology, 85, 103-105.
Lester, G. (1971). Subjects’ assumptions and scores on the rod-and-frame test.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 32, 205-206.
Lester, G., & Lester, D. (1971). Suicide: The gamble with death.
Lester, D., & Lester, G. (1975). Crime of passion: Murder and the murderer.
Lester, G., & Rando, H. (1975). No correlation between rod-and-frame and visual
normalization scores. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 40, 846.
Lester, G., Bierbrauer, B., Selfridge, B., & Gomeringer, D. (1976). Distractibility,
intensity of reaction, and nonnutritive sucking. Psychological Reports, 39, 1212-1214.
Lester, G. (1977). Size constancy scaling and the apparent thickness of the shaft in the
Mueller-Lyer illusion. Journal of General Psychology, 97, 307-398.
Mercer, J. (1979). Small people: How children develop and what you can do about it.
Mercer, J. (1979). Personality development and the principle of reciprocal interweaving.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 48, 186.
Mercer, J. (1979). Guided observations in child development.
: University Press of Washington, D.C. . America
Mercer, J., & Russ, R. (1980). Variables affecting time between childbirth and the establishment of lactation. Journal of General Psychology, 102, 155-156.
Mercer, J., & McMurphy, C. (1985). A stereotyped following behavior in young children.
Journal of General Psychology, 112, 261-265.
Mercer, J. (1991). To everything there is a season: Development in the context of the
University Press of Lanham, MD America.
Mercer, J.,& Gonsalves, S. (1992). Parental experience during treatment of very small
preterm infants: Implications for mourning and for parent-infant relationships.
Illness, Crisis, and Loss, 2, 70-73.
Gonsalves, S., & Mercer, J. (1993). Physiological correlates of painful stimulation in preterm infants. Clinical Journal of Pain, 9, 88-93.
Mercer, J. (1998). Infant development: A multidisciplinary introduction.
Mercer, J. (1999). ‘Psychological parenting” explained (letter).
Lawyer, July 12, 7. New Jersey
Mercer, J. (2000/2001). Letter.Zero to Three, 21(3), 39.
Mercer, J. (2001). Warning: Are you aware of “holding therapy?” (letter). Pediatrics, 107, 1498.
Mercer, J. (2001). “Attachment therapy” using deliberate restraint: An object lesson on the identification of unvalidated treatments. Journal of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatric Nursing, 14(3), 105-114. This paper is posted at
with permission of the publisher to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar
Mercer, J. (2002). Surrogate motherhood. In
N. Salkind (Ed.), Child Development
Macmillan Reference USA.
Mercer, J. (2002). Child psychotherapy involving physical restraint: Techniques used in four approaches. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 19(4), 303-314.
Kennedy, S.S., Mercer, J., Mohr, W., & Huffine, C.W. (2002). Snake oil, ethics, and the First Amendment: What’s a profession to do? American Journal of
Orthopsychiatry, 72(1), 5-15.
Mercer, J. (2002). Attachment therapy: A treatment without empirical support. Scientific
Review of Mental Health Practice, 1(2), 9-16. Reprinted in S.O. Lilienfeld, J. Ruscio, & S.J. Lynn (Eds.), Navigating the mindfield: A user’s guide to distinguishing science from pseudoscience (pp. 435-453). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Mercer, J. (2002). The difficulties of double blinding (letter). Science,297, 2208.
Mercer, J. (2002) Attachment therapy. In M.Shermer (Ed.), The Skeptic Encyclopedia of
Pseudoscience (pp. 43-47) .Santa
: ABC-CLIO. Barbara,
Mercer, J., & Rosa, L. (2002). Letter on Attachment Therapy.
Psychologist, 24 (8), 16-18.
Mercer, J., Sarner, L., & Rosa, L. (2003). Attachment therapy on trial: The torture
and death of Candace Newmaker.
: Praeger. (see also reviews in
Scientific American, PsycCritique, Scientific Review of Mental Health
Mercer, J. (2003). Letter to the editor. APSAC Advisor,15(3), 19.
Mercer, J. (2003) Attachment therapy and adopted children: A caution. Readers’
Forum. Contemporary Pediatrics, 20(10), 41.
Mercer, J. (2003). Violent therapies: The rationale behind a potentially harmful child psychotherapy and its acceptance by parents. Scientific Review of Mental Health
Practice, 2(1), 27-37.
Mercer, J. (2003). Media Watch: Radio and television programs approve of Coercive Restraint Therapies. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 2(2).(see also letters in subsequent issues)
Mercer, J. (2004). The dangers of Attachment Therapy: Parent education needed.
Mercer, J. (2005). Bubbles, bottles, baby talk, and basketty. Early Childhood Health Link
(Newsletter of Healthy Child Care New
Mercer, J. (2005). Coercive Restraint Therapies: A dangerous alternative mental health intervention. Medscape General Medicine, 7(3). (see also letters in subsequent issue). http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/508956.
Mercer, J. (2006). Understanding attachment: Parenthood, child care, and emotional development.
Praeger. Westport, CT
Mercer, J. (2006). IEPs and Reactive Attachment Disorder: Recognizing and addressing misinformation. Scope (Newsletter of the
Association of School Psychologists), 28(3), 2-6. Washington State
Mercer, J., Misbach, A., Pennington, R., & Rosa, L. (2006). Letter to the editor (age regression definition). Child Maltreatment, 11, 378.
Mercer, J. (2007). Behaving yourself: Moral development in the secular family. In D..McGowan (Ed.), Parenting beyond belief (pp. 104-112).
Mercer, J., & Pignotti, M. (2007). Letter to the editor (neurofeedback research critique). International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation therapy, 3 (2), 324-325 (http://www.behavior-analyst-today.com/BAR2007/BAR-VOL-2.pdf ).
Pignotti, M., & Mercer, J. (2007). Holding Therapy and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy are not supported, acceptable social work interventions: A systematic research synthesis revisited. Research on Social Work Practice, 17 (4), 513-519.
Mercer, J. (2007). Systematic child maltreatment: Connections with unconventional parent and professional education. Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice Advocate (Division 37 of APA), 30 (2), pp.5-6.
Mercer, J. ( 2007).Media Watch: Wikipedia and "open source" mental health information. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice. 5(1), 88-92.
Mercer, J. (2007) Destructive trends in alternative infant mental health approaches. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 5(2), 44-58.
Mercer, J., & Pignotti, M. (2007). Shortcuts cause errors in Systematic Research Syntheses: Rethinking evaluation of mental health interventions. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 5(2), 59-77.
Mercer, J. (2008). Minding controls in curriculum study (letter). Science, 319, 1184.
Mercer, J. (2009).Child Development: Myths and Misunderstandings.Los Angeles,CA: Sage.
Mercer, J., Pennington, R.S., Pignotti, M., & Rosa, L. (2009). Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is not "evidence-based": Comments in response to Becker-Weidman and Hughes (2009). Child and Family Social Work, 15, 1-5. http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=1356-7500 . DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2206.2009.00609.x.
Mercer, J. (2009). Child custody evaluations, attachment theory, and an attachment measure: The science remains limited. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 7(1), 37-54.
Mercer, J. (2010). Themes and variations in development: Can nanny-bots act like human caregivers? Interaction Studies, 11(2), 233-237.
Mercer, J. (2011). Attachment theory and its vicissitudes: Toward an updated theory. Theory and Psychology, 21, 25-45.
Mercer, J. (2011). The concept of psychological regression: Metaphors, mapping, Queen Square, and Tavistock Square. History of Psychology,14, 174-196.
Mercer, J. (2011). Some aspects of CAM mental health interventions: Regression, recapitulation, and “secret sympathies”. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 8, 36-55.
Mercer, J. (2011). Book review: Rachel Stryker’s (2010) The road to Evergreen. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 8, 69-74.
Mercer.J. (2011). Martial arts research: Weak evidence. (Letter). Science, 334, 310-311.
Mercer, J. (2012). Reply to Sudbery, Shardlow, and Huntington: Holding therapy. British Journal of Social Work, 42, 556-559 . DOI: 10.1093/bjsw.bcr078.
Mercer, J. (2013). Child development: Myths and misunderstandings, 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Mercer, J., (2013). Deliverance, demonic possession, and mental illness: Some considerations for mental health professionals. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture 16(6), 596-611. DOI:10.1080.13674676.2012.707272.
Mercer, J. (2012). Attachment in children and adolescents. (Childhood Studies section). H. Montgomery (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies Online. www.oxfordbibliographies.com.
Mercer, J. (2013, in press). Attachment therapies. In R. Cautin & S.O. Lilienfeld (Eds.), Encyclopedia of clinical psychology. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
Mercer, J. (2013, in press). Controversial therapies. In R. Cautin & S.O.Lilienfeld (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. New York:Wiley-Blackwell.
Mercer, J. (2013). Holding Therapy in Britain: Historical background, recent events, and ethical concerns. Adoption & Fostering, 37(2), 144-156. .
Mercer, J. (2013). Holding therapy: A harmful alternative mental health intervention. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 18(2), 70-76.
Mercer, J. (2013). Giving parents information about Reactive Attachment Disorder: Some problems. Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 29 (8), 1, 6-7.
UNPUBLISHED/ IN PREPARATION:
Lester, G. (1968). Some investigations of the audiogyral illusion. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis,
. Brandeis University
Mercer, J. (1993) The successful single parent. Unpublished book-length ms.
Mercer, J. The developing child in
changing times: Infancy through adolescence Unpublished book-length ms.
Invited comments on the New Jersey Children’s Initiative proposal (
March 10, 2000);
with Gerard Costa and Elaine Herzog.
Invited comments on the U.S. Bright Futures children’s mental health proposal (
5, 2000); with Gerard
Mercer, J. (2000). Notes on Attachment Therapy: Relevant Research and Theory. Prepared for use by the prosecution in the trial of
, April 2001. Connell
Sarner, L., & Mercer, J. (2003). Statement to Human Resources Subcommittee of
House Ways and Means
Mercer, J. (January, 2005). Expert witness report. State of
Division of Occupational and
Professional Licensing. Case number 2002-223.
Mercer, J. (April, 2005). Expert witness report. Child custody case, Middlesex Family Court, New Brunswick, NJ.
Mercer, J. (October, 2006). Expert witness report. Child custody case,
. Pasco County,
BLOGS AND OTHER INTERNET MATERIALS:
“Attachment therapies and associated parenting techniques.” www.scienceinmedicine.org/policy/papers/AttachmentTherapy.pdf.
“Critical thinking and the mastery of child development concepts.” www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/critical-thinking.html.
Various presentations on child development and parenting issues to parent groups and
training workshops, including CASA.
“Law, policy, and attachment issues”; presentation at the Second Annual Conference on Attachment of the New Jersey Psychological Association.
June 9, 2000, .
“Custody changes and their effect on children’s development”; presentation at New Jersey State Child Placement Advisory Council conference, April, 2001.
“Bad language: How the professions confuse each other with words,” welcoming address at conference on Attachment, New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health,
“That cranky, crying baby”; presentation at National Association for Education of Young Children Conference on Health in Child Care, Princeton, NJ, May, 2002; repeated May, 2003, May, 2004.
“Warning Signals: When parents consider unusual mental health treatments for their children”; presentation at Third Annual Multicultural Health Conference, Richard Stockton College, Pomona, NJ, Sept. 2002.
“Misuse and abuse of attachment theory”; keynote speech at 2002 Annual Meeting, New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health, Piscataway, NJ, Nov. 2002.
“Attachment Therapy: Science adversaries appeal to scientific evidence.” Institute of Contemporary British History conference, “Science, Its Advocates and Adversaries”,
July 7-9, 2003.
“Analyzing Attachment Therapy”, at “Right From the Start: Supporting the Earliest Relationships and their Impact on Later Years,” professional conference presented by Youth Consultation Services Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health, Newark, Sept. 24-25, 2003 (continuing professional education credit-bearing).
“Principles of Infant Mental Health”, at “What Does Infant Mental Health Mean to Me?”, professional conference sponsored by New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health, Gateway Maternal-Child Health Consortium, Northwest Maternal-Child Health Consortium, Piscataway, NJ, Nov. 13, 2003 (continuing professional education credit-bearing).
“Attachment and Attachment Therapy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, at annual meeting, Gateway Maternal-Child Health Consortium.
, East Orange, NJ March 25, 2004 (Continuing professional education
“Attachment.” Annual conference of New Jersey Association for Education of Young Children, East Brunswick, NJ, Oct. 16, 2004 (continuing professional education
Discussion of Attachment Therapy. “All in the Mind”, Australian Broadcasting Company,
Dec. 18, 2004. Transcript available at http://abc.net.au/rn/science/mind.
“Attachment: Social and Emotional Development from Birth to Preschool.” Conference of Coalition of Infant and Toddler Educators, East Brunswick, NJ, March 18, 2005.
“Attachment Therapy: Concerns on Unvalidated Treatments.” Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health Didactic Series, Youth Consultation Service, East Orange, NJ, May 12, 2005.
"Violent therapies with children: History and theory.” 9th International Family Violence Research Conference,
, Portsmouth, NH July 11, 2005.
Invited state delegate and
presenter, Infant Mental Health Systems Development Summit conference,
sponsored by Mailman Foundation/Zero to Three. ,
Washington DC Sept. 22-24, 2005.
New Jersey Perinatal Mood Disorders training program presentations, 2005-2006.
“Dangerous therapies”, with Alan Misbach. LCSW. Independent Educational Consultants Association conference,
Philadelphia, Nov. 14, 2005.
"Attachment Therapy". Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health Didactic Series, Youth Consultation Service,
Orange, NJ April 27, 2006.
"Attachment Therapy" comments, Paula Zahn show, CNN,
Nov. 14, 2006.
"Attachment Therapy" comments, Court TV,
Nov. 27, 2006.
"Understanding attachment." Delaware Valley Group, WAIMH.
Dec. 1, 2006.
"Strategies for picky eaters."
Jan 31, 2007, NJ WIC
training, . Ewing, NJ
"Just the facts, ma'am: Asking and answering the right questions about evidence-based treatment."
Association for Infant Mental Health, . Ft. Lauderdale
Panel on secular parenting, moderated by Dale McGowan. Atheist
Arlington, VA Sept. 29, 2007.
"Circumstantial Evidence: Evaluating Design and Details of Outcome Research" (poster presentation). Dec. 1, 2007. Zero to Three National Training Institute,
. Orlando, Florida
"Theory of Mind: A New Approach to Attachment." Conference of Coalition of Infant and Toddler Educators,
, New Brunswick, NJ March 14, 2008.
"Novel Unsupported Therapies: Pseudoscientific and Cult-like". With Monica Pignotti and James Herbert. International Cultic Studies Association conference,
Philadelphia, June 27, 2008.
"Attachment Theory, Evidence-based Practice, and Rogue Therapies: Using and Misusing the Concept of Attachment." With R.S. Pennington, L. Rosa, and L. Sarner. Wisconsin School Psychologists Association conference, LaCrosse, WI,
Oct. 29, 2008.
"Are There Research-based Child Custody Evaluations? An Ongoing Case and an Ongoing Discussion." Annual Conference,
New Jersey Association
for Infant Mental Health, Dec.
12, 2008, . North Brunswick,
“A Problematic Parenting Pattern Associated With Child Deaths.” Eastern Psychological Association, March7, 2009, Pittsburgh, PA.
“Personalities and Power Struggles: Discipline, Temperament, and Attachment.” Coalition of Infant and Toddler Educators Annual Conference, March 14, 2009, Somerset, NJ.
“Don’t Be So [Un]critical! Using Critical Thinking to Foster Mastery of Child development Concepts.” Developmental Science Teaching Institute, Society for Research in Child Development, April 1, 2009, Denver, CO.
“Psychological Concepts and Measures in the Family Court”. Judicial Orientation, Essex Vicinage (NJ). Princeton, NJ, Oct. 2, 2009. (With Michelle DeKlyen, Ph.D.)
“Are There Research-Based Child Custody Evaluations?”. Conference on Infants and Children in the Courts, sponsored by Youth Consultation Service and NJAIMH; Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville, NJ, March 19, 2010.
“Unconventional Psychotherapies: Some Questions About Their History.” Eastern Psychological Association, March 11, 2011, Cambridge, MA.
“Myths and Misunderstandings.” Conference of the Delaware Valley Group of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, Feb. 3, 2012, Philadelphia, PA.
Comments on Attachment Therapy and treatment of Russian adoptees. “Life with Mikhail Zelensky”, Rossiya-1 TV, Feb. 21, 2013.
“Fetal Psychology in Psychohistory.” Eastern Psychological Association, March 2, 2013, New York.
“Jirina Prekopova’s holding therapy: Scientifically founded or otherwise?” Conference of the International Working Group on Abuse in Child Psychotherapy, April 20, 2013, London.
“ ‘Nancy Thomas parenting’ in the U.S. and Russia: Another part of the holding therapy problem.” With Yulia Massino. Conference of the International Working Group on Abuse in Child Psychotherapy, April 20, 2013, London.