Open main menu

Doris Twitchell Allen (1901–2002) was a noted psychologist and the founder of Children's International Summer Villages (now CISV International). She specialized in development and psychodrama.

Doris Twitchell Allen
Allen (left) with her husband, Rusty.
Born Doris Frances Twitchell
(1901-10-08)October 8, 1901
Old Town, Maine
Died March 7, 2002(2002-03-07) (aged 100)
Virginia, United States
Residence United States, Germany
Citizenship United States
Alma mater

University of Maine (AB 1923, MA 1926)

University of Michigan (PhD)
Known for Psychodrama, Children's International Summer Villages
Scientific career
Fields Psychology

University of Maine,

Longview State Hospital (Cincinnati, Ohio), University of Cincinnati
Thesis An Investigation of Higher Thought Processes (1930)
For the California political figure, see Doris Allen (politician).

After receiving degrees in Chemistry (AB in 1923) and Biology (MA in 1926) at the University of Maine, where she was a member of the national honorary society Phi Kappa Phi,[1] she earned a PhD in Psychology in 1930 at the University of Michigan, and completed her post-graduate study at the Psychological Institute, University of Berlin, in 1932.

Her career as a psychologist began as Director of the Field Laboratory at the Child Education Foundation in New York City (1932–1935).

From 1962 until her retirement, she was Professor of Psychology at the University of Cincinnati and Professor of Psychology (Psychodrama) at the University of Maine.

She developed several valued tools in the fields of psychology and education. Among them the Social Learning in the Schools Through Psychodrama project [2] and the Twitchell-Allen Three-dimensional Personality Test for use in CISV research and clinical practice to portray personality dynamics, irrespective of age or culture.

In addition to founding CISV in 1951, Doris Allen served as International President (1951–1956), Trustee (1956–1965), Research Chairman (1951–1967), and Honorary Counsellor (1965–2002), and simultaneously served as President (1956–1965), Research Chair / Co-Chair (1956–1969) and Life Trustee (1970–2002) of CISV USA. From its inception in 1988, Doris Allen had also served as Trustee / Honorary Trustee of the CISV International Peace Fund Trust.

In 1979, Doris was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with CISV.[3]

The Doris Twitchell Allen Village (DTAV) student accommodation blocks at the University of Maine were named after her.[4]

She was married to Erastus S. Allen, a lawyer for Procter & Gamble.


  1. ^, page 172
  2. ^ The Social Learning in the Schools Through Psychodrama project on the Education Resources Information Centre (ERIC) website
  3. ^ Ogilvie, Marilyn (2000). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0-415-92038-8.
  4. ^ The Doris Twitchell Allen Village on the University of Maine website Archived January 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

See also 2001 article Camp Kids Were Given Global Mission in Cincinnati Post