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Strean, H.S. (1973). Adolescent Psychiatry: Developmental and Clinical Studies. Sherman C. Feinstein Peter Giovacchini, and Arthur A. Miller (Eds.), New York: Basic Books, 1971. xix + 552 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 60(3):469-470.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Review, 60(3):469-470

Book Review

Adolescent Psychiatry: Developmental and Clinical Studies. Sherman C. Feinstein Peter Giovacchini, and Arthur A. Miller (Eds.), New York: Basic Books, 1971. xix + 552 pp.

Review by:
Herbert S. Strean, D.S.W.

Adolescent Psychiatry inaugurates an exciting new series in the expanding field of adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy. Sponsored by the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, the volume presents some of the latest and most valuable studies that discuss the relationship with and treatment of adolescents. The book is divided into five parts: Adolescence, General Considerations: Developmental Stages in the Adolescent Process; Effects of Early Object Relations on Adolescent Character Structure; Training in Adolescent Psychiatry; and Psychotherapy of Adolescence.

There are twenty-five excellent papers in the book, (all written by prominent psychoanalysts). Unfortunately, only some of them can be alluded to in this review. Blos writes a lucid essay on the generation gap and focuses on two extremes of the generation conflict: a prolonged distancing device used as a defense against maturational failure and an individuating and differentiating device where resolution of adolescence is finally achieved. Bettelheim recites his frequent theme that children in our culture are indulged too much and for too long, with the result that they are robbed of their sense of autonomy and feeling of personal importance. Josselyn, like Bettelheim, is critical of our child-centered world in which the individual grows up with the conviction that it is the responsibility of others to make him happy. The inability of adults to set limits, provide structure, and induce the necessary development of frustration in youngsters contributes to the marked self-centeredness and narcissism in adolescents. Winnicott discusses the doldrums of adolescence and maintains that the cure for adolescence is the passage of time and gradual maturation. Freedman and Neff both deal with the uses and abuses of drugs by young people.

Baittle and Offer re-evaluate youthful rebellion and conclude that it is a normal developmental phase that is necessary for emancipation and separation-individuation.

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