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This groundbreaking book argues that adolescence is an unnecessary period of life that people are better off without. Robert Epstein, former editor-in-chief of "Psychology Today," shows that teen turmoil is caused by outmoded systems put into place a century ago which destroyed the continuum between childhood and adulthood. Where this continuum still exists in other countries, there is no adolescence. Isolated from adults, American teens learn everything they know from their media-dominated peers—"the last people on earth they should be learning from," says Epstein. Epstein explains that our teens are highly capable—in some ways more capable than adults—and argues strongly against "infantilizing" young people. We must rediscover "the adult in every teen," he says, by giving young people adult authority and responsibility as soon as they can demonstrate readiness. This landmark book will change the thinking about teens for decades to come.
Posted July 29, 2007
Epstein is correct that we must stop treating adolescents like children, but he oversteps developmental science considerably in this book. He argues that adolescents need more responsibility and fewer protections, which is true. Unfortunately, he isn't completely up to date on some of his science, especially in the areas of brain development and substance use, misleading the reader in some seriously important ways. I can recommend many of his final suggestions, but he doesn't understand adolescent psychology very well at all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.