Capps, gifted young UC Berkeley psychologist, dies of lung cancer
Patricia McBroom, Public Affairs
Lisa Margarit Capps, a gifted young psychologist at the University
of California, Berkeley, died Monday (Feb. 7) at Alta Bates
Hospital in Berkeley after a valiant, year-long fight against
assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley in 1996, Capps
made a remarkable impact as an educator and scholar during her
brief three years in the Department of Psychology.
research on autistic disorder, for example, helped to dispel
key myths in the field. Capps found that individuals with autism
were able to form secure attachments with caretakers, contrary
to widespread beliefs that they lacked such bonds. She also
discovered levels of social awareness not previously recognized
among people with this condition.
innovative work on the emotional disorders of children, anxiety
disorders and bereavement combined traditional clinical research
with linguistic and narrative approaches.
set a new mark in the field," said friend and colleague
Stephen Hinshaw, UC Berkeley professor of psychology. "She
paved the way for future generations of studies on narrative
psychology and developmental psychopathology."
said that Capps' presence in the department was an inspiration.
gracious presence, incisive mind and genuine affection for others
influenced everyone," he said. "She was beloved among
both the students and the faculty."
October 22, 1964, in Santa Barbara, Calif., Capps was the daughter
of U.S. Representative Lois Grimsrud Capps (Santa Barbara),
and the late Walter Capps, a professor of religious studies
at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a former
U.S. Representative from Santa Barbara.
earned her bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1986,
where she was elected into the honorary society, Phi Beta Kappa.
Her doctorate in clinical psychology from UCLA was awarded in
1996, after an internship at the Neuropsychiatric Institute.
Capps also spent a year abroad at Oxford University in 1985.
Capps' emphasis on health and healing, her first published research
evaluated the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a symbol and agent
three books are: "Constructing Panic: The Discourse of
Agoraphobia" (1995), with E. Ochs; "Children with
Autism: A Developmental Perspective" (1997), with M. Sigman;
and "Living Narrative" (in press) with E. Ochs.
her mother, Capps is survived by her husband, Nathan Brostrom,
of Berkeley; two sons, David August Brostrom, 5, and Walter
Holden Brostrom, 1; a sister, Laura Karolina Capps, of Berkeley;
a brother, Todd Holden Capps, of Santa Barbara, his wife, Julie
Capps, and their son, Aden Henry Capps.
memorial service for friends and family will be held on Saturday,
Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church in Berkeley.
A second memorial service will be held at UC Berkeley, with
time and place to be announced.
may be sent in her name to the "UC Berkeley Foundation,"
specifying the "Lisa M. Capps Memorial Fund" on the
memo line, at 2440 Bancroft Way, University of California, Berkeley,