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Neubauer, P.B. (1970). Adolescence: Psychosocial Perspectives: Edited by Gerald Caplan and Serge Lebovici. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1969. 412 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 39:627-628.

(1970). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 39:627-628

Adolescence: Psychosocial Perspectives: Edited by Gerald Caplan and Serge Lebovici. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1969. 412 pp.

Review by:
Peter B. Neubauer

This book approaches the topic of adolescence with a wide angle lens; thirty-three different authors address themselves to the subject divided into six major sections. The responsibility for choosing the papers lies with the editors who made their selections from a pool of preparation for an international congress and from the International Preparatory Commission that had convened over four years prior to the congress in 1966.

In order to indicate the scope of this book, it may be helpful to present the titles of its sections. The first three address themselves to the general psychological problems of the adolescent and his environment: Development Issues, The Adolescent and His Family, and The Transition from School to Work. The remaining three sections deal with Psychiatric Disorders, Psychiatric Treatment, and Community Mental Health Services for Adolescents. Only four of the thirty-one chapters deal with adolescence as a developmental phase, while the rest comprise an examination of the adolescent. If one is looking for an overview of formulations and findings at present available in this field, he will find this a very informative book—either in terms of the different theoretical propositions presented, or with regard to the many aspects of adolescent life under consideration.

There are many psychoanalysts among the authors. The first chapter, by Anna Freud, offers a short, concise statement about her views on Adolescence as a Developmental Disturbance. This formulation is further discussed by others throughout the book, some of whom stress the integrative and coalescent aspects of the phase, others the regressive preoedipal conflicts or adolescent conflicts reflecting the disorders of the society. Moreover, there are thoughtful investigations that explore the problems and prejudices that adults have in response to this age group. The contents of this volume were clearly not compiled in order to convey a cohesive, integrated point of view; instead, the choice of papers is obviously meant to expose the reader to the current differences in viewpoint.

It

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