Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 363–372 | Cite as

Development of interest and enjoyment in adolescence. Part II. Boredom and psychopathology

  • Jean A. Hamilton


Significant changes in both the capacity and the content of attention emerge during adolescence. Part II of this two-part article argues that a central task of adolescence is to utilize increased information-processing capacities in order to develop attentional habits which shape interests, provide enjoyment, and avoid boredom. Reports of chronic boredom or of extreme efforts to escape from boredom during adolescence may signify substantial difficulty in forming the attentional habits required for developing a separate identity. When adolescents are bored, they may resort to habits of attention and enjoyment which have deleterious personal, social, and ecological consequences. Further study of attention in adolescence may help to explore preventive educational approaches to the problem of boredom and of “pathological” solutions to boredom.


Health Psychology School Psychology Ecological Consequence Educational Approach Central Task 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean A. Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.the National Institute of Mental HealthBethesda

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