In the tradition of Irvin Yalom's Love's Executioner, Dr. Lynn Ponton's remarkable book takes readers inside the minds of 15 troubled adolescents to provide a compelling look at today's teenage experience. Included are Jill, a 13-year-old thrill-seeking runaway; Hannah, a privileged daughter of suburbia who suffers from anorexia; and Joe, a high school senior with a serious drinking problem. The case studies vary from the puzzling to the horrifying, but with her confident and engaging voice, Ponton brings out the unifying themes in all of them. She proposes that teenage "acting out" can be understood in terms of "risk-taking", and that by redirecting this natural impulse into healthy channels parents can minimize the dangers inherent in today's teen culture and help their children develop into mature individuals.
Challenging the traditional views of adolescence and offering a constructive new model for understanding teenage behavior, The Romance of Risk is an essential book for parents concerned about their children's well-being in this age of drug abuse, rampant violence, and AIDS.