Samuel Osipow

Samuel H. Osipow is one the pioneers of vocational psychology in the United States. Graduating with a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1959, Osipow worked for 6 years as a counseling psychologist at Pennsylvania State University before taking a faculty position in the Psychology Department at Ohio State University. He spent the bulk of his academic career at Ohio State University from 1967 to 1998, 13 years of which he severed as its chair. Within his academic career, Osipow published over 200 journal articles and book chapters and 18 books and monographs. He was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 13, 15, 17, & 35), the Association for Psychological Science, and American Association for the Advancement of Applied and Preventive Psychology. His 13 years as Chair of the Psychology Department at Ohio State University as well as his numerous accomplishments within the American Psychological Association are also a testament to his unusual leadership abilities as well as his true integration of the scientist and practitioner aspects of his own career.

He wrote one of the first textbooks in the field of vocational psychology, Theories of Career Development, which was first published in 1968 and revised three times, most recently with Louise Fitzgerald in 1996. His numerous professional accomplishments and achievements include serving as the founding editor of the Journal of Vocational Behavior, editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, and editor of Applied and Preventive Psychology. With W. B. Walsh, he also coedited the first and second edition of the Handbook of Vocational Psychology.

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Osipow also made significant contributions to career assessment. With some students, he developed the Career Decision Scale, one of the first career decision-making measures for the field. This work was then expanded in his collaboration with his colleague, Itamar Gati from Israel, in the development of the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire. With the assistance of Arnold Spokane, he also developed the Occupational Stress Inventory, a comprehensive measure of occupational stressors, strains and coping resources published by Psychological Assessment Resources.

Osipow was also very active within the Counseling Division and within the American Psychological Association’s (APA) governance. He served for many years on the Executive Board of the Division of Counseling Psychology (Division 17), culminating in his election to the Division’s Presidency in 1977. The Counseling Division also bestowed upon Osipow its highest honor by awarding him the Leona Tyler Award in 1989. Within APA, Osipow was elected to the APA Council of Representatives for two terms, served as Chair of the Education and Training Committee, Chair of the Council of Editors, Chair of the Publications and Communications Board, and on the Board of Directors. He was also Chair of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology Board of Directors. In recognition of his significant and lifelong contributions to career counselors, the National Career Development Association awarded Osipow its Eminent Career Award in 2000.


  1. Leong, F. T. L., & Barak, A. (Eds.). (2001). Contemporary models in vocational psychology: A volume in honor of Samuel H. Osipow. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  2. Osipow, S. H. (1987). Manual for the Career Decision Scale. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
  3. Osipow, S. H. (1990). Convergence in theories of career choice and development: Review and prospect. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 36, 122-131.
  4. Osipow, S. H., Carney, C. G., Winer, J. L., Yanico, B., & Koschier, M. (1976). The Career Decision Scale (3rd rev.). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
  5. Walsh, W. B., & Osipow, S. H. (Eds.). (1983). Handbook of vocational psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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