Becoming an Adult in the 1980s

  • John Paul McKinney
Part of the Child Nurturance book series (CHILDNUR, volume 4)


In most cultures, childhood is a stage of the life cycle that is loved and revered, at least in words, if not always in actions. Children and childhood may be admired because it is in them that adult hopes for the future and the world are high. It is almost as if when everything else in life suggests despair, we look at our children and find our hope for the future once again resurrected. Therefore, it is in many ways difficult to give up children or their childhood for adulthood and maturity. It is for example, one of the most agonizingly painful and difficult tasks for a parent to lose a child to death, whether suddenly or slowly, in infancy or at any childhood age. It is also difficult for parents who are unable economically, psychologically or physically to care for their child to relinquish and commit that child to the care of somebody else. It is difficult for parents who are abusive or otherwise found incapable to give up their children. Finally, it is difficult for all of us at different times and in different ways to say good-bye to our own childhood or to our children and their childhood. In loving our children we tend to hold up their stage of life as an ideal to us all. “Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”


Anorexia Nervosa Conformity Behavior Formal Operation Simultaneous Stability Short Wave Radio 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adelson, J., and O’Neil, R. P. Growth of political ideas in adolescence: The sense of community. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1966, 4, 295–306.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aristotle. Politica. In R. McKeon (Ed.), The basic works of Aristotle, (trans., W. D. Ross). New York: Random House, 1941.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. The story decade: Fact or fictionC. Psychology in the Schools, 1964, 1, 224–231.Google Scholar
  4. Bios, P. The second individuation process of adolescence. In R. S. Eisler (Ed.), The psychoanalytic study of the child, Vol. 22. New York: International Universities Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  5. Bruch, H. The golden cage: The enigma of anorexia nervosa. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  6. Costanzo, P. R., and Shaw, M. E. Conformity as a function of age level. Child Development, 1966, 37, 967–975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Douvan, E., and Adelson, J. The adolescent experience. New York: Wiley, 1966.Google Scholar
  8. Elkind, D. Egocentrism in adolescence. Child Development, 1967, 38, 1025–1034.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Erikson, E. H. Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton, 1968.Google Scholar
  10. Erikson, E. H. Identity and the life cycle. Psychological issues, Vol. 1. New York: International Universities Press, 1959.Google Scholar
  11. Fromm, E. The art of loving. New York: Harper, 1956.Google Scholar
  12. Gillespie, J., and Allport, G. Youths’ outlook on the future. New York: Random House, 1955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gustin, J. C. The revolt of youth. Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalytic Review, 1968, 98, 78–90.Google Scholar
  14. Hall, G. S. Adolescence: Its psychology and its relations to physiology, anthropology, sociology, sex, crime, religion, and education (6 vols.). New York: Appleton and Company, 1904–1905.Google Scholar
  15. Hammerton, J. A. J. M. Barrie and his books, biographical and critical studies. London: Marshall, 1902.Google Scholar
  16. Heifer, R. E. Being a kid isn’t all that easy. Lecture presented to medical students at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1977.Google Scholar
  17. Hess, R. D., and Goldblatt, I. The status of adolescents in American society: A problem in social identity. Child Development, 1957, 28, 459–468.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hotch, D. F. Separating from the family: A study of perceptions of home leaving in late adolescence. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, 1979.Google Scholar
  19. McKinney, J. P. The development of values: A perceptual interpretation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 31, 801–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McKinney, J. P., Fitzgerald, H. E., and Strommen, E. A. Developmental psychology: The adolescent and young adult (2nd ed.). Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  21. McKinney, J. P., Hotch, D. F., and Truhon, S. A. The organization of behavioral values during late adolescence: Change and stability across two eras. Developmental Psychology, 1977, 13, 83–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Meissner, W. W. Parental interaction of the adolescent boy. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1965, 107, 225–233.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Plato. The Laws. In G. Burns, The works of Plato. London: H. G. Bohn, 1859.Google Scholar
  24. Stierlin, H. Separating parents and adolescents. New York: New York Times Book Company, 1974.Google Scholar
  25. Sullivan, K., and Sullivan, A. Adolescent-parent separation. Developmental Psychology, 1980, 16, 93–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Weiner, I. Psychological disturbance in adolescence. New York: Wiley, 1970.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Paul McKinney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations