Single-Case Research

Description of the Strategy

A Brief History of Early Single-Case Research in Psychological Science

Although individuals with mental retardation (MR), developmental disabilities, and psychopathology were known to ancient civilizations—in particular, nearly all those born with identifiable congenital defects and likely killed soon thereafter—there were few societal mechanisms by which to accommodate individuals who suffered from these disorders. The earliest clinics in Western civilization were probably founded after the Council of Nicæa met in the 4th century and decreed that Christians provide lodging for those unable to care for themselves. In the 17th century, the largest hospital in Paris, the Hôtel Dieu, was ordered to house individuals with psychopathology or MR. Elsewhere in Europe, however, such individuals were treated either as curiosities and ...

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