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Meltzer, D. (1974). Chapter Ten: From Puberty to Adolescence. Adolescence: Talks and Papers by Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris, 131-142.

Meltzer, D. (1974). Chapter Ten: From Puberty to Adolescence. Adolescence: Talks and Papers by Donald Meltzer and Martha Harris , 131-142

Chapter Ten: From Puberty to Adolescence Book Information Previous Up Next

Donald Meltzer

This afternoon I would like to move on to the second phase: the transition from puberty to adolescence, which is usually characterized by the beginning of sexual relations. The external manifestation of the passage to puberty is a social one; it is accompanied by an emotional separation from the family. One is no longer a child living in the family but a member of the pubertal group. Going back to the loss of distinction between good and bad, described in Mrs Harris's material, we can say that the pubertal group is really of a tribal type. The two tribes are principally the boys' tribe and the girls' tribe, engaged in a battle of the sexes, making incursions of a tribal nature against each other and returning with trophies which are the pride of the tribe. The dream presented by Mrs Harris in which Malcolm found himself in the ruins of his room while he walked up and down like a Nazi [pp. 95-96] clearly describes the spirit of this tribe. Its sexual aspect is an


1 Presented at a seminar in Novara (following material in the last chapter). Published in Quaderni di Psicoterapia Infantile (1975) no. 1, edited by C. Brutti and F. Scotti, pp. 152-65. Translated by Consuelo Hackney.

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