Personality Development in Adolescence: A Cross National and Life Span Perspective

Personality Development in Adolescence: A Cross National and Life Span Perspective

Personality Development in Adolescence: A Cross National and Life Span Perspective

Personality Development in Adolescence: A Cross National and Life Span Perspective

Synopsis

Challenge and conflict seem to be an integral part of adolescent life. This intriguing book includes both recent research, presented here for the first time, and summaries of earlier major studies of adolescence. Morality, gender, family contexts, and social change are examined in a cross-cultural study of personality development in adolescence.

Excerpt

This book contains primarily papers presented at the seminar held at the inauguration of the doctoral program in psychology in May 1994, at the University of Tromsø, which is the youngest university in Norway and the northernmost university in the world (if one discounts the university branch on Svalbard at 88 degrees north). In fact, the University of Tromsø is situated on a coastal island in the North Sea, north of the Arctic Circle. The Gulf Stream makes this polar part of the world habitable. This is the land of extremes-from midnight sun in the summer to darkness in the winter. The Psychology Department was established in 1989 to meet demands for psychological services in northern Norway. The first group of psychologists all graduated successfully in 1995.

In this unique setting, the seminar provided a special opportunity for national and international scholars to meet and to discuss with post-graduate students and with each other various theories, research, and thoughts about personality development in adolescence and across the life span. It has been noted that “developmentalists often are not interested in the outcome of a developmental process in adult-hood…or additional development past adolescence (or sometimes even past infancy)” (Eisenberg, 1995, p. vii). This is clearly not the case with the contributors in this volume; all have worked extensively with developmental issues in adolescence and beyond.

We arranged this seminar because we believe adolescence to be an important phase with regard to personality development. Adolescence was long an underresearched area, seen to be unstable and little related to the periods before and after (Block, 1971). The last 20 years have, however, seen a blossoming of research and the starting of scientific journals. The way adolescence is negotiated between the young and his or her environment has become to be viewed as far reaching in its later consequences. Adolescence also has its sensitivities, not least for girls,

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