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Understanding 12-14-Year-Olds


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Table of Contents

Foreword, Jonathan Bradley. Introduction. 1. Other Bodies: Other Selves. 2. Sexuality. 3. School Life: The Primary/Secondary Divide. 4. Groups: Inclusion and Exclusion. 5. A Question of Identity: "Who am I?" 6. Running Into Difficulties. 7. Life in the Family. Helpful Organizations. Index.

Promotional Information

Advice for parents on how to manage the physical and emotional changes in their adolescent child

About the Author

Margot Waddell, PhD(Cantab), MACP, MBPAS is a psychoanalyst and consultant child psychotherapist in the Adolescent Department of the Tavistock Clinic. She has written extensively on adolescence, including on groups, gangs and scapegoating, and is author of Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the Growth of Personality (1998).


The book highlights the often powerful emotions 12- to 14-year-olds experience as they try to find their own space, and distance themselves from their parents, guardians and carers while establishing friends and peer support... It gives practical advice on how to deal with situations and how to manage conflict around issues such as smoking, bullying, eating disorders and sexuality, which will not only help a parent but any professional who works with children and young people.

The quotations from older people about their experiences as a 12- to 14-year-old are informative and interesting, evoking my own personal memories of being that age.

The highlight of this book is Waddell's clear, concise and informative writing style, complimented by her excellent research. I would highly recommend this book for the casual reader and those seeking in-depth information about the "terrible 12s".

-- 0-19 Magazine
This publication, part of a series of guides that concentrate on key transitions in children's lives, offers practical and sensitive guidance for parents supporting their child through the new challenges of teenage life. It includes advice on issues such as stealing, bullying, smoking and eating disorders. -- Children Now
This short paperback is one of a revised series written by staff from The Tavistock Clinic. The author, a child psychotherapist, explores the complex and ambivalent feelings aroused during this turbulent transitional period when children struggle to develop social and emotional independence from their families. There is growing concern among professionals working with this age group that the pressures on young teenagers have increased with the advent of the Internet, mobile phones, powerful advertising as well as the consequences of family break-up and new educational demands. A book that aims to explain the conflicting emotions and turmoil, the peer group pressures and the moodiness and uncertainty with which parents and teachers are confronted, is very welcome. -- Debate

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