Ruth Florence Griffiths,
O.B.E., M.A., Ph.D., Dip. Ed., F.B.Ps.S
In 1957 Dr Griffiths co-founded the Association for Research in Infant and Child Development along with Dr Brian Burne FFPH (a Founding Trustee) and Dr Rose Unmack; the association became a registered charity in 1967.
Dr Ruth Griffiths was born in London on 2nd September 1895. She attended County High School, Ilford between 1908 and 1912. Her family emigrated to Australia where she studied psychology at Queensland University from 1920 to 1925. She was the holder of a Queensland government training fellowship, 1927 to 1930. She obtained further degrees at Somerville College Oxford and University College London. She held a research post with the Australian Council for Education Research Ltd between 1931 and 1933.
From 1933 to 1938 she worked as a Prinicipal Psychologist at St George’s Hospital, Hyde Park Corner, London. She then became psychologist to the Burdun Mental Resarch Trust (Stoke Park, Bristol) between 1938 and 1944. Her next position was psychologist to Somerset County Education Committee between 1946 and 1951; she also worked in Harley Street, London. Dr Griffiths founded and became Director of the Child Development Research Centre, Hampstead, London.
In 1935 Dr Griffiths published a book entitled Imagination in Early Childhood (Routledge, 1935). During the post-war years Dr Griffiths systematically examined hundreds of typically developing children and published her findings in two books: The Abilities of Babies, 0-2 years (University of London Press, 1954) and The Abilities of Young Children, 0-8 years (ARICD, 1970). Dr Griffiths contributed a chapter (Chapter VII) to Foundations of Child Psychiatry, edited by Miller, E. (Pergamon Press, 1968). Dr Griffiths also published the record forms and booklets for the Griffiths Mental Development Scales.
In recognition of her outstanding contributions in the field of child development, she received an OBE. Dr Griffiths died on 8th December 1973, aged 78, in Taunton, Somerset. The intellectual property rights on the Griffiths mental development scales were inherited by the Trustees of the ARICD, in trust for the Association. Her library was donated to the Warneford Hospital, Oxford except for a few valuable archives.