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Fraiberg, S. (1963). On Adolescence. A Psychoanalytic Interpretation: By Peter Blos. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1962. 269 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 32:432-436.

(1963). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 32:432-436

On Adolescence. A Psychoanalytic Interpretation: By Peter Blos. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1962. 269 pp.

Review by:
Selma Fraiberg

Blos' new book is a work of distinguished scholarship in the field of adolescent psychology and is the first attempt to present a unified psychoanalytic theory of adolescent developmental processes. It is at once a survey, a source book, and a significant original contribution to psychoanalytic theory. All of this, including an exhaustive survey of the literature, is packed into 244 pages of concise, lean writing which demands close reading and thorough familiarity with psychoanalytic theory and terminology.

The body of the work is centered in the exposition and elucidation of five phases in the adolescent process which Blos identifies as preadolescence, early adolescence, adolescence proper, late adolescence, and postadolescence. The work of latency in preparation for adolescence and the completion of the maturational process in the phase that Blos calls 'postadolescence' are given special treatment. The characteristics of each of these phases are carefully worked out in terms of drive cathexis, object choice, the progression toward genital primacy, and concomitant ego changes.

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