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Carney, C.L. (2009). Adolescent Identities: A Collection of Readings. Edited By Deborah L. Browning. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 2008, 360 pp., $59.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(1):245-251.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(1):245-251

Adolescent Identities: A Collection of Readings. Edited By Deborah L. Browning. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 2008, 360 pp., $59.95.

Review by:
Colleen L. Carney

Grounded in clinical and academic knowledge of adolescence and developmental theory, Deborah Browning, a New York based professor of psychology and a psychodynamic psychotherapist with ties to the Austen Riggs Center, offers an edited collection of interdisciplinary readings that is both timely and timeless. Her excellent book is lovingly dedicated to the memory of her late husband, Jean Schimek, a psychoanalyst. Ranging from the impact of the globalization of modern culture on today's youth to the intrapsychic challenges and conflicts for adolescents, in both normal and patient populations, Adolescent Identities effectively captures the increasing complexity of the internal and external environments in which today's youth must accomplish the age-old task of passing from child to adult. Commonly referred to as adolescence, this process involves biological, cognitive, social, interpersonal, and intrapsychic components. The timeliness of this collection is evident in the everyday prevalence of news stories related to adolescents. Whether the emphasis is on how adolescents impact their worlds via suicide bombings, school shootings, or teen pregnancy, or on how the changing world, including the surge of multiracial families or media exposure to real and virtual foreign cultures, is shaping teens, it is hard to ignore the critical importance of understanding the psychological worlds of today's youth, tomorrow's adults.

The timelessness of Adolescent Identities, however, may be even more central to Browning's intentions and would be impossible to appreciate without acknowledging her indebtedness to Erik Erikson (1956, 1968).

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