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Rosegrant, J. (2009). The Deathly Hallows: Harry Potter and Adolescent Development. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(6):1401-1423.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(6):1401-1423

Child Analysis and Development Section

The Deathly Hallows: Harry Potter and Adolescent Development

John Rosegrant

The enormous popularity of the Harry Potter books points to the deep resonance readers feel with the psychological issues they bring to life. Three developmental issues provide central themes: the necessity for partial disenchantment and increasing attunement to reality, while retaining a capacity for wonder; repudiation or endorsement of the narcissistic solution to life's difficulties; and aggression and castration fantasies while growing into adult power. These developmental issues are particularly acute during adolescence but start earlier and continue to be reworked throughout the life span, accounting for the books' appeal to a wide age-range of readers despite their apparent focus on adolescence. These developmental themes are explored in order to better understand the Harry Potter books, as, conversely, the books are explored in order to better understand these themes.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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