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Novick, J. (1986). Late Adolescence: Psychoanalytic Studies: Edited by D. D. Brockman. New York: International Universities Press. 1984. Pp. 367.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:521-522.

(1986). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67:521-522

Late Adolescence: Psychoanalytic Studies: Edited by D. D. Brockman. New York: International Universities Press. 1984. Pp. 367.

Review by:
Jack Novick

At last, a psychoanalytic book on late adolescence. This group of patients has been the boon and bane of psychoanalysts since Freud's case reports in Studies On Hysteria. Dora, Freud's first psychoanalytic case, was a late adolescent and the difficulties Freud encountered with that treatment, specifically transference problems and premature termination, remain as challenges in our current work with older adolescents.

This book is a collection of papers and the article I found most interesting was the chapter by Thomas Jobe entitled 'Centuries of melancholy: youthful depression in historical perspective'. This chapter is well worth the price of the book and clearly demonstrates the importance of the social—historical context in understanding late adolescents. He examines five distinct syndromes which were thought to affect young persons at different historical periods and argues that the historical forms of depression become 'intelligible only in juxtaposition to the social ideal that youth represented at the time of the particular syndrome's heyday. Each syndrome represented a failure to attain that ideal' (p. 179). Jobe's article is a useful reminder to examine our own socially determined values and ideals in our work with youth.

Many of the articles were first presented as lectures given in Chicago during the spring of 1977 by members of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society and addressed to a mixed audience of undergraduates, graduates and faculty. Presented at a place and a time when Kohut's self-psychology was reaching its apogee, most of these papers promulgate a self-psychology view of late adolescence.

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