Public Release: 

Oregon Research Institute scientist wins award for depression research

Oregon Research Institute

Oregon Research Institute (ORI) senior scientist Peter M. Lewinsohn, Ph.D., has been named the 2002 recipient of the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology. This prestigious award recognizes distinguished and enduring records of accomplishment in psychology. Lewinsohn is being recognized for his significant contributions to understanding and treating depression. The award will be presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in Chicago on August 23, 2002.

"I am extremely pleased to be recognized in this manner by my colleagues," said Lewinsohn.

Lewinsohn, considered the father of behavioral approaches to depression, has authored 8 books and over 200 articles and book chapters describing treatment strategies for depressed individuals across the life span, from adolescence to old age, which have had worldwide influence in clinical practice and have stimulated research internationally. He has deeply influenced many generations of mental health professionals and scientists studying the psychological treatment and nature of depression.

"Pete's work has been pivotal to our understanding of depression in adolescents, adults, and older individuals. The treatment interventions he has developed over the past thirty years continue to be used throughout the world today," noted depression researcher and ORI colleague Paul Rohde.

A professor emeritus at the University of Oregon and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Oregon Health and Science University, Lewinsohn has been a research scientist at ORI since 1985 when he began a longitudinal study, the Oregon Adolescent Depression Project, which is still on-going. This research study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, continues to follow a large group of high school students from adolescence into adulthood. Now in its 17th year, the study also includes the parents, siblings, and children of the original high school participants. The overall goal is to increase current knowledge about the epidemiology of adolescent depression, risk and protective factors which will make it more or less likely that someone will become depressed, and the effects of the course of adolescent depression on young adult functioning.

With ORI colleagues, Lewinsohn collaborated on the development of the "Adolescent Coping with Depression Course," a cognitive-behavioral treatment for use with depressed adolescents. The course has been translated into German, Dutch, and Spanish.

Depression in children, adolescents and young adults is an important public mental health problem, and Lewinsohn hopes that his and his colleagues' efforts have made significant contributions to this field.


Founded in 1960, Oregon Research Institute is a non-profit behavioral sciences research center located in Eugene, Oregon. The website is

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