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Adolescence in Historical Perspective

John Demos and Virginia Demos
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 31, No. 4 (Nov., 1969), pp. 632-638
DOI: 10.2307/349302
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/349302
Page Count: 7
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Adolescence in Historical Perspective
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Abstract

Adolescence, as we know it, was barely recognized before the end of the last century. An examination of various written materials from the period 1800-1875 uncovers (1) almost no usage of the word and (2) only a limited degree of concern with the stage (and its characteristic behaviors). About 1900, however, G. Stanley Hall and his students made adolescence the focus of a new current of psychological study. Their work evoked a broad popular response, though in subsequent years it was discredited in academic circles. The "discovery" of adolescence can be related to certain broad changes in American life—above all, to changes in the structure of the family as part of the new urban and industrial order.

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