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Extra info for Adolescence : its social psychology, with an introduction to recent findings from the fields of anthropology, physiology, medicine, psychometrics and sociometry

Sample text

As an adolescent or an adult the range of his activities widens; but the satisfaction he obtains from mature contributions to the well-being of his family, and from loyalty to his profession, 48 THE ADOLESCENT AT HOME his club, his factory or his trade is quite in line with the satisfactions he won as a little child when he first gave of his skill to the group which permitted his adventures in learning. Loss of morale in times of adult stress, in unemployment, disablement, bereavement or war, has been shown to be greatest among those who have had least experience of such contributory functioning.

At eight or nine small boys learn to co-operate in reef-fishing; and as soon as girls become strong enough to carry heavy loads they are set to work on the plantations, to carry foodstuffs down to the village or to join in long fishing expeditions. In all these activities adolescents share in the work of the adult community—but without any encouragement towards precocity. They have a part to play among their relatives; but they must not be too efficient, too outstanding or too eager to assume responsibility.

Defeat is taken lightly and young people early learn to accept with a smile the customs and traditions which still are adequate for the requirements of life in a simple and homogeneous community. In such a society there is little marked difference of behaviour between the group which is experiencing puberty and the groups which are two or three years younger or older. The sudden bodily changes of adolescence do not appear to be accompanied by personality changes other than those following upon those social expectations of sexual functioning which are expressed in the random teasing of adolescents by adults.

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