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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Fallacy of the "Healthy Troubled" Adolescent

Parents and others often consider adolescence to normally be a period of strife. They believe that all teenagers have personal difficulties and will behave in odd, inexplicable ways but this is false.

The normal teenager has no greater difficulty coping with the tasks of adolescence than they did with the demands of earlier developmental periods. Then it was learning how to socialize and how to study; withe adolescence, it is to function with greater independence and to be able to make logical decisions about their future.

Why has this false belief taken hold? Because adolescence presents the final period of development before a child is expected to function as an adult. Awareness of this milestone arouses an understandable concern in parents: there are few more painful situations than having an eighteen-year-old child who is psychologically "lost," unable to function independently because the lingering emotional handicaps from their earlier development period is too great.

Copyright (c) 2010, 2015 by Stanley Goldstein. All rights reserved.
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