Barry Frost 1926-2020

An appreciation of the British Psychological Society Fellow from his daughter, Meredith Gibson.

Professor Emeritus Barry Frost PhD died in London, England, at a nursing home on 6 February aged 93 years. He was educated at the University of Sydney in Psychology followed by the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, University of London. He also received an MA in Psychology (University of Tasmania) and a PhD in Clinical Psychology (University of London). He was a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the Canadian Psychological Association.

Barry was first appointed as lecturer in Educational Psychology in Calgary in 1961 when the department was still part of the University of Alberta. He became Head of the Department of Educational Psychology (1972-75) and founded the Psychoeducational Clinic to help school children and to train clinical and educational psychologists.

In addition to teaching, Barry published many articles and questionnaires including the Frost Self Description Questionnaire (FSDQ) which was translated into many languages including Japanese and Afrikaans and measured anxiety in children. 

As well as being the long-term Editor of the Western Psychologist, Barry played an extensive role in numerous organisations in Canada relating to psychology and education including the Board of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (President, 1971-72); Founding President of the Canadian Association of School Psychologists; Vice Chairman, Early Childhood Services Coordinating Council (Government of Alberta) to name but a few. 

Barry had an encyclopaedic knowledge of psychology and philosophy and loved nothing better than a good argument. This endeared him to his PhD students many of whom regarded him as a mentor. He was passionate about classical music particularly of the Romantic period and his record collection ran into the many thousands. It was gifted to a local radio station on his retirement. Barry and his wife Ruth’s New Year parties were legendary for mixing academic conversation, music, wine and good, often exotic, food cooked at home. 

Barry and Ruth, who predeceased him, retired to first to Australia and then England. He is survived by me, along with his two grandsons, Alec and Niall, of whom he was very proud.

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