Sara S. Sparrow, PhD (1933-2010) was a renowned psychologist who developed the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, including its second and third editions. The Vineland has since become the world’s leading measure of adaptive behavior. Dr. Sparrow graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in Speech Pathology and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology. From 1975 to 2002, Dr. Sparrow was the Chief of Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine. She would remain at Yale as Professor Emerita and Senior Research Scientist until her passing in 2010. Dr. Sparrow also held a professorship in the Department of Psychology at the University of Windsor, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of more than 120 articles and book chapters in the fields of psychological assessment and developmental disabilities, and she is also co-editor (along with Drs. Ami Klin and Fred Volkmar) of a book on Asperger syndrome.
Dr. Sparrow served on the Committee on Disability Determination for Mental Retardation, a committee of the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). She was also co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Child Neuropsychology and received the Career Scientist Award from the American Academy of Mental Retardation (AAMR). She and her husband, Professor Domenic Cicchetti, share the first Scientific Achievement Award given by the Connecticut Psychological Association for the development and publication of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales.
Dr. Sparrow was a Fellow in Divisions 12 (Clinical Psychology) and 33 (Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities) of the American Psychological Association (APA). She was also a member of APA Divisions 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology), 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology), and 54 (Society of Pediatric Psychology). At the time of initial publication of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales | Second Edition (Vineland-II), she was also the president of APA Division 33.
In 2008, Dr. Sparrow was named alumnus of the year by the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. In August of 2009, Dr. Sparrow received the Edgar Doll award from Division 33 of the American Psychological Association. The Doll Award is the Division 33's highest recognition of outstanding scientific contributions to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.