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Mahler-Schoenberger, M. (1942). The Adolescent Personality: By Peter Blos. New York and London: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1941. 517 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 11:576-578.

(1942). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 11:576-578

The Adolescent Personality: By Peter Blos. New York and London: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1941. 517 pp.

Review by:
Margaret Mahler-Schoenberger

This is the second book to come from the Adolescent Study by the Commission on Secondary School Curriculum, the first volume having been Caroline B. Zachry's Emotion and Conduct in Adolescence. The purpose of Peter Blos's book is to provide educators with a sufficient basic understanding of adolescence to be helpful in any reconstruction of the secondary school program.

The Adolescent Study was carried on for five years under the auspices of the Progressive Education Association. In its plan of research it followed the case study method, collecting material which covered several consecutive years in the life of individual adolescents, in and out of school, and from different parts of the country. The setting of the Study as well as its explicit purpose of aiding education have determined the primary objective of this book: it is addressed principally to teachers, guidance workers, and psychologists interested in improving and contributing to education. It is also of value to anyone dealing with personality development.

Because of the primary objective of the book, its presentation of theory will not satisfy the psychoanalyst. Its treatment of case material, however, can leave no doubt that the book has been prepared by a person thoroughly familiar with psychoanalytic concepts.

Four cases, selected from those of about six hundred adolescents, are discussed in detail. In applying the case method to relatively normal adolescents the author attempts to throw light on each case by organizing the manifold factors given in the material and viewing these factors in their dynamic interaction.

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