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Richards, A.K. (1986). Adolescence: The Farewell to Childhood: Louise Kaplan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984, 401 pp., $17.95. Psychoanal. Psychol., 3(4):379-384.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 3(4):379-384

Adolescence: The Farewell to Childhood: Louise Kaplan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984, 401 pp., $17.95

Review by:
Arlene Kramer Richards, ED.D.

Dr. Louise Kaplan has written a book on two levels, meant for two audiences, and intended to accomplish two very different purposes. This book addresses psychoanalysts and psychotherapists who treat adolescents; it is also written to be accessible to parents, teachers, and others who live or work with adolescents. The point of view of the book is clearly that of adult (and usually middle-aged) individuals who feel both responsible for and protective of adolescents. The message is that it is necessary to relinquish control of young people as gracefully as possible because young people need freedom to become responsible. The ideal of having young people develop the social and personal maturity to become nurturers and teachers of the next generation is stressed. The link between sexual maturation of adolescence and the development of the capacity to nurture the young is emphasized.

The method of this book is the fruit of the most recent wave of the women's movement. Sherfey (1966) advanced the idea that sexual development in the embryo male is a variant of the basic female process. Dr. Kaplan describes adolescence as a female developmental process, with male development being a variant of this. Her method is the reverse of that used by Freud and most other writers on human development.

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