"Adolescent Behavior: Readings and Interpretations" comprises a varied, carefully chosen collection of writings by psychologists, historians, anthropologists, sociologists, psychoanalysts and adolescents themselves, to provide an in-depth understanding of the important developmental transition from childhood to adulthood. The readings range from theory to empirical research, from experimental to case studies, and from classic to contemporary writings. The background and interpretive essays by the editor aid the reader's understanding of adolescent behavior and the factors that shape it. Section One of the book explores adolescence in an historical and cross-cultural context. Sections Two through Six examine adolescent behavior as shaped by physiological maturation and cognitive growth, by the struggle for identity, and by the contexts provided by family, peers, school, and work. Section Seven examines three contemporary adolescent issues: gangs and violence, teenage pregnancy, and eating disorders. Section Eight explores the factors that mark the end of adolescence. These readings challenge widely held beliefs concerning adolescent behavior: data and theories from the study of white middle class adolescents do not capture the scope of adolescent behavior in a socio-economically and racially diverse, multicultural society. Adolescent behavior takes different forms today, depending upon personal and demographic characteristics, and social-contextual factors.
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