front cover of Adolescent Relations with Mothers, Fathers and Friends
Adolescent Relations with Mothers, Fathers and Friends
James Youniss and Jacqueline Smollar
University of Chicago Press, 1987
After interviews with teenagers, Youniss and Smollar find that, though adolescents seek independence from the parent-child bond, they do not abandon the relationship.

"A must for anyone interested in adolescent behavior."—Edward Z. Dager, Contemporary Sociology
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Aging and Loss
Mourning and Maturity in Contemporary Japan
Danely, Jason
Rutgers University Press, 2015
By 2030, over 30% of the Japanese population will be 65 or older, foreshadowing the demographic changes occurring elsewhere in Asia and around the world.  What can we learn from a study of the aging population of Japan and how can these findings inform a path forward for the elderly, their families, and for policy makers?

Based on nearly a decade of research, Aging and Loss examines how the landscape of aging is felt, understood, and embodied by older adults themselves. In detailed portraits, anthropologist Jason Danely delves into the everyday lives of older Japanese adults as they construct narratives through acts of reminiscence, social engagement and ritual practice, and reveals the pervasive cultural aesthetic of loss and of being a burden.
 
Through first-hand accounts of rituals in homes, cemeteries, and religious centers, Danely argues that what he calls the self-in-suspense can lead to the emergence of creative participation in an economy of care. In everyday rituals for the spirits, older adults exercise agency and reinterpret concerns of social abandonment within a meaningful cultural narrative and, by reimagining themselves and their place in the family through these rituals, older adults in Japan challenge popular attitudes about eldercare. Danely’s discussion of health and long-term care policy, and community welfare organizations, reveal a complex picture of Japan’s aging society. 
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Aging and Old Age
Richard A. Posner
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Are the elderly posing a threat to America's political system with their enormous clout? Are they stretching resources to the breaking point with their growing demands for care? Distinguished economist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner explodes the myth that the United States could be on the brink of gerontological disaster.

Aging and Old Age offers fresh insight into a wide range of social and political issues relating to the elderly, such as health care, crime, social security, and discrimination. From the dread of death to the inordinate law-abidingness of the old, from their loquacity to their penny-pinching, Posner paints a surprisingly rich, revealing, and unsentimental portrait of the millions of elderly people in the United States. He explores issues such as age discrimination in employment, creativity and leadership as functions of age, and the changing social status of the elderly. Why are old people, presumably with less to lose, more unwilling to take risks than young people? Why don't the elderly in the United States command the respect and affection they once did and still do in other countries? How does aging affect driving and criminal records? And how does aging relate to creativity across different careers?
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Aging in a Changing World
Older New Zealanders and Contemporary Multiculturalism
Molly George
Rutgers University Press, 2022
This is a story about aging in place in a world of global movement. Around the world, many older people have stayed still but have been profoundly impacted by the movement of others. Without migrating themselves, many older people now live in a far “different country” than the one of their memories. Recently, the Brexit vote and the 2016 election of Trump have re-enforced prevalent stereotypes of “the racist older person”. This book challenges simplified images of the old as racist, nostalgic and resistant to change by taking a deeper, more nuanced look at older people’s complex relationship with the diversity and multiculturalism that has grown and developed around them. Aging in a Changing World takes a look at how some older people in New Zealand have been responding to and interacting with the new multiculturalism they now encounter in their daily lives. Through their unhurried, micro, daily interactions with immigrants, they quietly emerge as agents of the very social change they are assumed to oppose.
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Be the Parent, Please
Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat: Strategies for Solving the Real Parenting Problems
Naomi Schaefer Riley
Templeton Press, 2018

Silicon Valley tech giants design their products to hook even the most sophisticated adults. Imagine, then, the influence these devices have on the developing minds of young people. Touted as tools of the future that kids must master to ensure a job in the new economy, they are, in reality, the culprits, stealing our children’s attention, making them anxious, agitated, and depressed.

What’s worse, schools across the country are going digital under the assumption that a tablet with a wi-fi connection is what’s lacking in our education system. Add to that the legion of dangers invited by unregulated access to the internet, and it becomes clear that our screen-saturated culture is eroding some of the essential aspects of childhood.

In Be the Parent, Please, former New York Post and Wall Street Journal writer Naomi Schaefer Riley draws from her experience as a mother of three and delves into the latest research on the harmful effects that excessive technology usage has on a child’s intellectual, social, and moral formation. Throughout each chapter, she backs up her discussion with “tough mommy tips”—realistic advice for parents who want to take back control from tech.

With the alluring array of gadgets, apps, and utopian promises expanding by the day, engulfing more and more of our lives, Be the Parent, Please is both a wake-up call and an indispensable guide for parents who care about the healthy development of their children.

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Because I'd Hate to Just Disappear
My Cancer, My Self, Our Story
Don Hardy
University of Nevada Press, 2018
“Illness, in the larger sense of mortality,” Don Hardy writes, “is an inescapable shared trait among all living creatures, and we humans know about it, whether or not we want to talk about it.”

Because I’d Hate to Just Disappear is a portrait of a husband and wife, Don and Heather Hardy, thrown into the physical and emotional machinery of Don being diagnosed with leukemia and going through chemotherapy and treatment over a period of close to two years.

In this thoughtful and exquisite account, Don and Heather narrate Don’s struggle in real-time. Disarmingly honest, they recount each intimate stage of a couple living through cancer together, the mental and physical struggles, the humor and visceral emotion to reveal how two very different personalities shape—and are shaped by—the experience of cancer and its treatment. Through these moments emerge a constant flow of human kindness and discovery that lifts them each day.
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Beyond Conformity or Rebellion
Youth and Authority in America
Gary Schwartz
University of Chicago Press, 1987
By the late 1970s, drugs, blue jeans, rock and roll, and sexual precocity appeared to be all that remained of the cultural ferment of the 1960s. In this classic new study of high school-aged youth in the eartly 70s, Gary Schwartz reveals subtle yet significant changes in the style of deviance in adolescent culture. He argues that a new sort of peer-group pluralism emerged from the counter-culture movement of the 60s, a deviance defined less by persistent violations of the law than by disengagement from traditional images of success and civic responsibility.
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Burn
Sara Henning
Southern Illinois University Press, 2024

A lyrical meditation on time, survival, and merciful moments of joy 

Sara Henning’s Burn draws readers deep into the moments that make us, focusing on instances of crisis and renewal to explore our relation to time and lived experience. In these poems, we follow a speaker as she works through the loss of young love, the death of her parents, marriage’s hardness and beauty, sexual assault, and the devastation of a pandemic—evolutions of trauma that fracture time and alter perception. Twinned with these extremes are shimmering manifestations of joy only an imperfect world can make possible.

Burn magnifies the way time leaves us both the victim and the victor of our realities. The blaze of her late-mother’s Tiffany lamps sends the speaker back to childhood, where she unearths mica from the schoolyard dirt. The devastation of an ecological crisis, the annihilating act of rape, and the unsolved disappearance of a caretaker all level the speaker’s world and upend her place in it, forcing her to reconstitute reality from what remains. In poems which summon the spirit of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, this collection walks through the physics of temporality as refracted through love, loss, and grief, so we better understand its effect on our lives. Through this insight, Henning introduces a new way of being in the world.  

A work of advocacy and uplift, Burn shines with the vibrant possibilities of narrative lyric poetry as it forges a path from grief to hope.  

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Changes in Care
Aging, Migration, and Social Class in West Africa
Cati Coe
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Africa is known both for having a primarily youthful population and for its elders being held in high esteem. However, this situation is changing: people in Africa are living longer, some for many years with chronic, disabling illnesses. In Ghana, many older people, rather than experiencing a sense of security that they will be respected and cared for by the younger generations, feel anxious that they will be abandoned and neglected by their kin. In response to their concerns about care, they and their kin are exploring new kinds of support for aging adults, from paid caregivers to social groups and senior day centers. These innovations in care are happening in fits and starts, in episodic and scattered ways, visible in certain circles more than others. By examining emergent discourses and practices of aging in Ghana, Changes in Care makes an innovative argument about the uneven and fragile processes by which some social change occurs.

There is a short film that accompanies the book, “Making Happiness: Older People Organize Themselves” (2020), an 11-minute film by Cati Coe. Available at: https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/t3-thke-hp15
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The Changing Borders of Juvenile Justice
Transfer of Adolescents to the Criminal Court
Edited by Jeffrey Fagan and Franklin E. Zimring
University of Chicago Press, 2000
Since the 1960s, recurring cycles of political activism over youth crime have motivated efforts to remove adolescents from the juvenile court. Periodic surges of crime—youth violence in the 1970s, the spread of gangs in the 1980s, and more recently, epidemic gun violence and drug-related crime—have spurred laws and policies aimed at narrowing the reach of the juvenile court. Despite declining juvenile crime rates, every state in the country has increased the number of youths tried and punished as adults.

Research in this area has not kept pace with these legislative developments. There has never been a detailed, sociolegal analytic book devoted to this topic. In this important collection, researchers discuss policy, substantive procedural and empirical dimensions of waivers, and where the boundaries of the courts lie. Part 1 provides an overview of the origins and development of law and contemporary policy on the jurisdiction of adolescents. Part 2 examines the effects of jurisdictional shifts. Part 3 offers valuable insight into the developmental and psychological aspects of current and future reforms.

Contributors: Donna Bishop, Richard Bonnie, M. A. Bortner, Elizabeth Cauffman, Linda Frost Clausel, Robert O. Dawson, Jeffrey Fagan, Barry Feld, Charles Frazier, Thomas Grisso, Darnell Hawkins, James C. Howell, Akiva Liberman, Richard Redding, Simon Singer, Laurence Steinberg, David Tanenhaus, Marjorie Zatz, and Franklin E. Zimring
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The Child
An Encyclopedic Companion
Richard A. Shweder, Editor in Chief
University of Chicago Press, 2009

The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion offers both parents and professionals access to the best scholarship from all areas of child studies in a remarkable one-volume reference.

Bringing together contemporary research on children and childhood from pediatrics, child psychology, childhood studies, education, sociology, history, law, anthropology, and other related areas, The Child contains more than 500 articles—all written by experts in their fields and overseen by a panel of distinguished editors led by anthropologist Richard A. Shweder. Each entry provides a concise and accessible synopsis of the topic at hand. For example, the entry “Adoption” begins with a general definition, followed by a detailed look at adoption in different cultures and at different times, a summary of the associated mental and developmental issues that can arise, and an overview of applicable legal and public policy.

While presenting certain universal facts about children’s development from birth through adolescence, the entries also address the many worlds of childhood both within the United States and around the globe. They consider the ways that in which race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and cultural traditions of child rearing can affect children’s experiences of physical and mental health, education, and family. Alongside the topical entries, The Child includes more than forty “Imagining Each Other” essays, which focus on the particular experiences of children in different cultures. In “Work before Play for Yucatec Maya Children,” for example, readers learn of the work responsibilities of some modern-day Mexican children, while in “A Hindu Brahman Boy Is Born Again,” they witness a coming-of-age ritual in contemporary India.

Compiled by some of the most distinguished child development researchers in the world, The Child will broaden the current scope of knowledge on children and childhood. It is an unparalleled resource for parents, social workers, researchers, educators, and others who work with children.

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Children of the Land
Adversity and Success in Rural America
Glen H. Elder Jr. and Rand D. Conger
University of Chicago Press, 2000
A century ago, most Americans had ties to the land. Now only one in fifty is engaged in farming and little more than a fourth live in rural communities. Though not new, this exodus from the land represents one of the great social movements of our age and is also symptomatic of an unparalleled transformation of our society.

In Children of the Land, the authors ask whether traditional observations about farm families—strong intergenerational ties, productive roles for youth in work and social leadership, dedicated parents and a network of positive engagement in church, school, and community life—apply to three hundred Iowa children who have grown up with some tie to the land. The answer, as this study shows, is a resounding yes. In spite of the hardships they faced during the agricultural crisis of the 1980s, these children, whose lives we follow from the seventh grade to after high school graduation, proved to be remarkably successful, both academically and socially.

A moving testament to the distinctly positive lifestyle of Iowa families with connections to the land, this uplifting book also suggests important routes to success for youths in other high risk settings.
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Citizens in the Present
Youth Civic Engagement in the Americas
Maria de los Angeles Torres, Irene Rizzini, and Norma Del Rio
University of Illinois Press, 2013
Although media coverage often portrays young people in urban areas as politically apathetic or disruptive, this book provides an antidote to such views through narratives of dedicated youth civic engagement and leadership in Chicago, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro. This innovative comparative study provides nuanced accounts of the personal experiences of young people who care deeply about their communities and are actively engaged in a variety of public issues. Drawing from extensive interviews and personal narratives from the young activists themselves, Citizens in the Present presents a vibrant portrait of a new, politically involved generation.

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Coming of Age in Jewish America
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Reinterpreted
Patricia Keer Munro
Rutgers University Press, 2016
The Jewish practice of bar mitzvah dates back to the twelfth century, but this ancient cultural ritual has changed radically since then, evolving with the times and adapting to local conditions. For many Jewish-American families, a child’s bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is both a major social event and a symbolic means of asserting the family’s ongoing connection to the core values of Judaism. Coming of Age in Jewish America takes an inside look at bar and bat mitzvahs in the twenty-first century, examining how the practices have continued to morph and exploring how they serve as a sometimes shaky bridge between the values of contemporary American culture and Judaic tradition.
 
Interviewing over 200 individuals involved in bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies, from family members to religious educators to rabbis, Patricia Keer Munro presents a candid portrait of the conflicts that often emerge and the negotiations that ensue. In the course of her study, she charts how this ritual is rife with contradictions; it is a private family event and a public community activity, and for the child, it is both an educational process and a high-stakes performance.
 
Through detailed observations of Conservative, Orthodox, Reform, and independent congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Munro draws intriguing, broad-reaching conclusions about both the current state and likely future of American Judaism.  In the process, she shows not only how American Jews have forged a unique set of bar and bat mitzvah practices, but also how these rituals continue to shape a distinctive Jewish-American identity.  
 
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The Company We Keep
Interracial Friendships and Romantic Relationships from Adolescence to Adulthood
Grace Kao
Russell Sage Foundation, 2019
With hate crimes on the rise and social movements like Black Lives Matter bringing increased attention to the issue of police brutality, the American public continues to be divided by issues of race. How do adolescents and young adults form friendships and romantic relationships that bridge the racial divide? In The Company We Keep, sociologists Grace Kao, Kara Joyner, and Kelly Stamper Balistreri examine how race, gender, socioeconomic status, and other factors affect the formation of interracial friendships and romantic relationships among youth. They highlight two factors that increase the likelihood of interracial romantic relationships in young adulthood: attending a diverse school and having an interracial friendship or romance in adolescence.

While research on interracial social ties has often focused on whites and blacks, Hispanics are the largest minority group and Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the United States. The Company We Keep examines friendships and romantic relationships among blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asian Americans to better understand the full spectrum of contemporary race relations. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the authors explore the social ties of more than 15,000 individuals from their first survey responses as middle and high school students in the mid-1990s through young adulthood nearly fifteen years later. They find that while approval for interracial marriages has increased and is nearly universal among young people, interracial friendships and romantic relationships remain relatively rare, especially for whites and blacks. Black women are particularly disadvantaged in forming interracial romantic relationships, while Asian men are disadvantaged in the formation of any romantic relationships, both as adolescents and as young adults. They also find that people in same-sex romantic relationships are more likely to have partners from a different racial group than are people in different-sex relationships. The authors pay close attention to how the formation of interracial friendships and romantic relationships depends on opportunities for interracial contact. They find that the number of students choosing different-race friends and romantic partners is greater in schools that are more racially diverse, indicating that school segregation has a profound impact on young people’s social ties.

Kao, Joyner, and Balistreri analyze the ways school diversity and adolescent interracial contact intersect to lay the groundwork for interracial relationships in young adulthood. The Company We Keep provides compelling insights and hope for the future of living and loving across racial divides.
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Consuming Work
Youth Labor in America
Yasemin Besen-Cassino
Temple University Press, 2014
Youth labor is an important element in our modern economy, but as students’ consumption habits have changed, so too have their reasons for working. In Consuming Work, Yasemin Besen-Cassino reveals that many American high school and college students work for social reasons, not monetary gain. Most are affluent, suburban, white youth employed in part-time jobs at places like the Coffee Bean so they can be associated with a cool brand, hangout with their friends, and get discounts.
 
Consuming Work offers a fascinating picture of youth at work and how jobs are marketed to these students. Besen-Cassino also shows how the roots of gender and class inequality in the labor force have their beginnings in this critical labor sector.
 
Exploring the social meaning of youth at work, and providing critical insights into labor and the youth workforce, Consuming Work contributes a deeper understanding of the changing nature of American labor.
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The Crisis of School Violence
A New Perspective
Marianna King
Michigan State University Press, 2020
The Crisis of School Violence is the only interdisciplinary book about school violence. It presents a broad and in-depth approach to the key questions about why bullying continues at an unprecedentedly high rate and why rampage school shootings continue to shock the nation. Based on extensive research, The Crisis of School Violence investigates human nature and its relation to aggressive behavior, with a special focus on the culture of violence that predicates school violence (including rampage shootings) and perpetuates industries that profit from violence. Marianna King presents the considerable psychological and neuroscientific research that investigates the effects of violent entertainment media on the brain and, subsequently, on behavior, which clearly reveals a causal connection between exposure to violent electronic entertainment media—especially violent video games—and increased aggressive and violent behavior. The book also reveals a more specific connection between exposure to violent video games and rampage school shootings. Ultimately this volume is a call to action that includes recommendations for parents, teachers, decision makers, and citizens alike.
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Curing Season
Artifacts
Kristine Langley Mahler
West Virginia University Press, 2022
“An exquisite, aching memoir of adolescent girlhood. . . . Treasures await.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A lovely and rapturous excavation and examination of the past, a lesson in writing oneself into history when it doesn’t offer you a space.” —Jenny Boully, author of Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on the Writing Life


After spending four years of adolescence in suburban North Carolina, Kristine Langley Mahler, even as an adult, is still buffeted by the cultural differences between her pioneer-like upbringing in Oregon and the settled southern traditions into which she could never assimilate. Collecting evidence of displacement—a graveyard in a mall parking lot, a suburban neighborhood of white kids bused to desegregate public schools in the 1990s, and the death of her best friend—Curing Season is an attempt to understand her failed grasp at belonging.

Mahler’s yearning for acceptance remains buried like a splinter, which she carefully tweezes out in the form of artifacts from her youth. But it isn’t until she encounters a book of local family histories that she takes inhabitation and truth apart, grafting and twisting and imprinting her history on theirs, until even she can no longer tell the difference between their truth and her own. Using inventive essay forms, Mahler pries apart the cracks of exclusion and experiments with the nature of belonging, memory, and place. Curing Season is a coming-of-age memoir for anyone who grew up anywhere but home.
 
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Deep Blue Funk and Other Stories
Portraits of Teenage Parents
Daniel B. Frank
University of Chicago Press, 1983
Teenage pregnancy has attracted the attention of sociologists, psychologists, social workers, teachers, politicians, taxpayers, and parents. But in the midst of gathering statistics and designing programs, few people have stopped long enough to pay close attention to the young people themselves—to try to understand who they are and what they feel about their lives. In this book, Daniel B. Frank has drawn a series of sensitive and revealing portraits of adolescents confronted with the fact of parenthood.

For two years Frank worked as a tutor at Our Place, a Family Focus center for black teenagers in Evanston, Illinois, listening to them talk about their lives, their feelings, and their private dreams. The power of this volume lies in the voices of these young people describing the pleasures as well as the shocks and bruises of thier new role.

Hope, disillusion, fortitude, loneliness: these themes occur and recur as each story unfolds. Readers will be drawn into the lives of these teenagers and will emerge with fresh insight and understanding about teenage parenthood.

theirtheir
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Discovering Successful Pathways in Children's Development
Mixed Methods in the Study of Childhood and Family Life
Edited by Thomas S. Weisner
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Discovering Successful Pathways in Children's Development provides a new perspective on the study of childhood and family life. Successful development is enhanced when communities provide meaningful life pathways that children can seek out and engage.  Successful pathways include both a culturally valued direction for development and competence in skills that matter for a child's subsequent success as a person as well as a student, parent, worker, or citizen. To understand successful pathways requires a mix of qualitative, quantitative, and ethnographic methods—the state of the art for research practice among developmentalists, educators, and policymakers alike.

This volume includes new studies of minority and immigrant families, school achievement, culture, race and gender, poverty, identity, and experiments and interventions meant to improve family and child contexts. Discovering Successful Pathways in Children's Development will be of enormous value to everyone interested in the issues of human development, education, and social welfare, and among professionals charged with the task of improving the lives of children in our communities.
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Early and School-Age Care in Santa Monica
Current System, Policy Options, and Recommendations
Ashley Pierson
RAND Corporation, 2014
In July 2012, the City of Santa Monica Human Services Division and the Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District contracted with the RAND Corporation to conduct an assessment of child care programs in Santa Monica. The project sought to assess how well Santa Monica’s early and school-age care programs meet the needs of families. Recommendations for improvement focused on advancing access, quality, service delivery, and financial sustainability.
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Early and School-Age Care in Santa Monica
Current System, Policy Options, and Recommendations: Executive Summary
Ashley Pierson
RAND Corporation, 2014
In July 2012, the City of Santa Monica Human Services Division and the Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District contracted with the RAND Corporation to conduct an assessment of child care programs in Santa Monica. The project sought to assess how well Santa Monica’s early and school-age care programs meet the needs of families. Recommendations for improvement focused on advancing access, quality, service delivery, and financial sustainability.
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Embracing Age
How Catholic Nuns Became Models of Aging Well
Anna I Corwin
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Embracing Age: How Catholic Nuns Became Models of Aging Well examines a community of individuals whose aging trajectories contrast mainstream American experiences. In mainstream American society, aging is presented as a “problem,” a state to be avoided as long as possible, a state that threatens one’s ability to maintain independence, autonomy, control over one’s surroundings. Aging “well” (or avoiding aging) has become a twenty-first century American preoccupation. Embracing Age provides a window into the everyday lives of American Catholic nuns who experience longevity and remarkable health and well-being at the end of life. Catholic nuns aren’t only healthier in older age, they are healthier because they practice a culture of acceptance and grace around aging. Embracing Age demonstrates how aging in the convent becomes understood by the nuns to be a natural part of the life course, not one to be feared or avoided. Anna I. Corwin shows readers how Catholic nuns create a cultural community that provides a model for how to grow old, decline, and die that is both embedded in American culture and quite distinct from other American models.

Instructor's Guide is available at no cost (https://d3tto5i5w9ogdd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/26120146/corwin_instructor_guide_final.pdf).

Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The text of this book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ 

Download open access ebook here.

 
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The End of Adolescence
Nancy E. Hill and Alexis Redding
Harvard University Press, 2021

Is Gen Z resistant to growing up? A leading developmental psychologist and an expert in the college student experience debunk this stereotype and explain how we can better support young adults as they make the transition from adolescence to the rest of their lives.

Experts and the general public are convinced that young people today are trapped in an extended adolescence—coddled, unaccountable, and more reluctant to take on adult responsibilities than previous generations. Nancy Hill and Alexis Redding argue that what is perceived as stalled development is in fact typical. Those reprimanding today’s youth have forgotten that they once balked at the transition to adulthood themselves.

From an abandoned archive of recordings of college students from half a century ago, Hill and Redding discovered that there is nothing new about feeling insecure, questioning identities, and struggling to find purpose. Like many of today’s young adults, those of two generations ago also felt isolated and anxious that the path to success felt fearfully narrow. This earlier cohort, too, worried about whether they could make it on their own.

Yet, among today’s young adults, these developmentally appropriate struggles are seen as evidence of immaturity. If society adopts this jaundiced perspective, it will fail in its mission to prepare young adults for citizenship, family life, and work. Instead, Hill and Redding offer an alternative view of delaying adulthood and identify the benefits of taking additional time to construct a meaningful future. When adults set aside judgment, there is a lot they can do to ensure that young adults get the same developmental chances they had.

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Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People
Gullette, Margaret Morganroth
Rutgers University Press, 2017
Winner of the MLA Prize for Independent Scholars and the APA's Florence L. Denmark Award for Contributions to Women and Aging

When the term “ageism” was coined in 1969, many problems of exclusion seemed resolved by government programs like Social Security and Medicare. As people live longer lives, today’s great demotions of older people cut deeper into their self-worth and human relations, beyond the reach of law or public policy. In Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People, award-winning writer and cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette confronts the offenders: the ways people aging past midlife are portrayed in the media, by adult offspring; the esthetics and politics of representation in photography, film, and theater; and the incitement to commit suicide for those with early signs of “dementia.”
 
In this original and important book, Gullette presents evidence of pervasive age-related assaults in contemporary societies and their chronic affects. The sudden onset of age-related shaming can occur anywhere—the shove in the street, the cold shoulder at the party, the deaf ear at the meeting, the shut-out by the personnel office or the obtuseness of a government. Turning intimate suffering into public grievances, Ending Ageism, Or How Not to Shoot Old People effectively and beautifully argues that overcoming ageism is the next imperative social movement of our time.

About the cover image:

This elegant, dignified figure--Leda Machado, a Cuban old enough to have seen the Revolution--once the center of a vast photo mural, is now a fragment on a ruined wall.  Ageism tears down the structures that all humans need to age well; to end it, a symbol of resilience offers us all brisk blue-sky energy. 
“Leda Antonia Machado” from “Wrinkles of the City, 2012.”
Piotr Trybalski / Trybalski.com. Courtesy of the artist.
 

A Declaration of Grievances

"A Declaration of Grievances" was written by Margaret Morganroth Gullette and is excerpted from her book Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People (2017, Rutgers University Press). The poster was designed by Carolyn Kerchof.​

Print the PDF (make sure to click "fit to page") and hang the Declaration up in your home or place of work. Please share this link with other people you know who care about the rights of older persons. Share on social media with the hashtags #ADeclarationOfGrievances and #EndingAgeismGullette.



For more information, an excerpt, links to reviews, and special offers on this book, go to: https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/ending-ageism

Related website: (https://www.brandeis.edu/wsrc/scholars/profiles/gullette.html)

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The Essential Eldercare Handbook for Nevada
Kim Boyer
University of Nevada Press, 2014
The senior years can be daunting, for spouses, children, other caregivers, and seniors themselves. Too often a sudden crisis leaves a family unprepared and feeling helpless. Chronic illnesses and limited funds can present difficult and emotional choices regarding care or housing. Rules and resources vary from state to state. Everyone can use help from experienced professionals in understanding them.

Boyer and Shapiro provide Nevada-specific information\--medical, legal, and financial\--on the wide range of problems that arise during the elder years. Case studies show how a typical family copes with troubles such as failing health or financial cares and what options they have. This guide will help any Nevada resident plan for their own senior years and take care of aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones.
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Ethnographies of Youth and Temporality
Time Objectified
Anne Line Dalsgard
Temple University Press, 2014
As we experience and manipulate time—be it as boredom or impatience—it becomes an object: something materialized and social, something that affects perception, or something that may motivate reconsideration and change. The editors and contributors to this important new book, Ethnographies of Youth and Temporality, have provided a diverse collection of ethnographic studies and theoretical explorations of youth experiencing time in a variety of contemporary socio-cultural settings.
 
The essays in this volume focus on time as an external and often troubling factor in young people’s lives, and shows how emotional unrest and violence but also creativity and hope are responses to troubling times. The chapters discuss notions of time and its and its “objectification” in diverse locales including the Georgian Republic, Brazil, Denmark and Uganda.
 
Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, the essays in Ethnographies of Youth and Temporality use youth as a prism to understand time and its subjective experience. 

In the series Global Youth, edited by Craig Jeffrey and Jane Dyson
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Family Hiking in the Smokies
Time Well Spent
Hal Hubbs
University of Tennessee Press, 2009

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The Five Life Decisions
How Economic Principles and 18 Million Millennials Can Guide Your Thinking
Robert T. Michael
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Choices matter. And in your teens and twenties, some of the biggest life decisions come about when you feel the least prepared to tackle them.

Economist Robert T. Michael won’t tell you what to choose. Instead, he’ll show you how to make smarter choices. Michael focuses on five critical decisions we all face about college, career, partners, health, and parenting. He uses these to demonstrate how the science of scarcity and choice—concepts used to guide major business decisions and shape national legislation—can offer a solid foundation for our own lives. Employing comparative advantage can have a big payoff when picking a job. Knowing how to work the marketplace can minimize uncertainty when choosing a partner. And understanding externalities—the ripple of results from our actions—can clarify the if and when of having children.

Michael also brings in data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a scientific sample of 18 million millennials in the United States that tracks more than a decade of young adult choices and consequences. As the survey’s longtime principal investigator and project director, Michael shows that the aggregate decisions can help us understand what might lie ahead along many possible paths—offering readers insights about how their own choices may turn out.

There’s no singular formula for always making the right choice. But the adaptable framework and rich data at the heart of The Five Life Decisions will help you feel confident in whatever you decide.
[more]

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Grandmotherhood
The Evolutionary Significance of the Second Half of Female Life
Voland, Eckart
Rutgers University Press, 2014

By the year 2030, the average life expectancy of women in industrialized countries could reach ninety—exceeding that of men by about ten years. At the present time, postmenopausal women represent more than fifteen percent of the world’s population and this figure is likely to grow.

From an evolutionary perspective, these demographic numbers pose some intriguing questions. Darwinian theory holds that a successful life is measured in terms of reproduction. How is it, then, that a woman’s lifespan can greatly exceed her childbearing and childrearing years? Is this phenomenon simply a byproduct of improved standards of living, or do older women—grandmothers in particular—play a measurable role in increasing their family members’ biological success?

Until now, these questions have not been examined in a thorough and comprehensive manner. Bringing togethertheoretical and empirical work byinternationally recognized scholars in anthropology, psychology, ethnography, and the social sciences, Grandmotherhood explores the evolutionary purpose and possibilities of female post-generative life. Students and scholars of human evolution, anthropology, and even gerontology will look to this volume as a major contribution to the current literature in evolutionary studies.

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Gray Matters
Finding Meaning in the Stories of Later Life
Ellyn Lem
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Winner of the 2021 Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Finalist for the 2021 American Book Fest Best Book Awards


Aging is one of the most compelling issues today, with record numbers of seniors over sixty-five worldwide. Gray Matters: Finding Meaning in the Stories of Later Life examines a diverse array of cultural works including films, literature, and even art that represent this time of life, often made by people who are seniors themselves. These works, focusing on important topics such as housing, memory loss, and intimacy, are analyzed in dialogue with recent research to explore how “stories” illuminate the dynamics of growing old by blending fact with imagination. Gray Matters also incorporates the life experiences of seniors gathered from over two hundred in-depth surveys with a range of questions on growing old, not often included in other age studies works. Combining cultural texts, gerontology research, and observations from older adults will give all readers a fuller picture of the struggles and pleasures of aging and avoids over-simplified representations of the process as all negative or positive. 
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Growing Each Other Up
When Our Children Become Our Teachers
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
University of Chicago Press, 2016
From growing their children, parents grow themselves, learning the lessons their children teach. “Growing up”, then, is as much a developmental process of parenthood as it is of childhood. While countless books have been written about the challenges of parenting, nearly all of them position the parent as instructor and support-giver, the child as learner and in need of direction. But the parent-child relationship is more complicated and reciprocal; over time it transforms in remarkable, surprising ways. As our children grow up, and we grow older, what used to be a one-way flow of instruction and support, from parent to child, becomes instead an exchange. We begin to learn from them. The lessons parents learn from their offspring—voluntarily and involuntarily, with intention and serendipity, often through resistance and struggle—are embedded in their evolving relationships and shaped by the rapidly transforming world around them.
 
With Growing Each Other Up, Macarthur Prize–winning sociologist and educator Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers an intimately detailed, emotionally powerful account of that experience. Building her book on a series of in-depth interviews with parents around the country, she offers a counterpoint to the usual parental development literature that mostly concerns the adjustment of parents to their babies’ rhythms and the ways parents weather the storms of their teenage progeny. The focus here is on the lessons emerging adult children, ages 15 to 35, teach their parents. How are our perspectives as parents shaped by our children? What lessons do we take from them and incorporate into our worldviews? Just how much do we learn—often despite our own emotionally fraught resistance—from what they have seen of life that we, perhaps, never experienced? From these parent portraits emerges the shape of an education composed by young adult children—an education built on witness, growing, intimacy, and acceptance.
 
Growing Each Other Up is rich in the voices of actual parents telling their own stories of raising children and their children raising them; watching that fundamental connection shift over time. Parents and children of all ages will recognize themselves in these evocative and moving accounts and look at their own growing up in a revelatory new light.
 
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The Last of His Mind
A Year in the Shadow of Alzheimer’s
John Thorndike
Ohio University Press, 2011
NEW EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback ISBN 978–0804012362 / Electronic ISBN 978–0804041201 Joe Thorndike was managing editor of Life at the height of its popularity immediately following World War II. He was the founder of American Heritage and Horizon magazines, the author of three books, and the editor of a dozen more. But at age 92, in the space of six months he stopped reading or writing or carrying on detailed conversations. He could no longer tell time or make a phone call. He was convinced that the governor of Massachusetts had come to visit and was in the refrigerator. Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and like many of them, Joe Thorndike’s one great desire was to remain in his own house. To honor his wish, his son John left his own home and moved into his father’s upstairs bedroom on Cape Cod. For a year, in a house filled with file cabinets, photos, and letters, John explored his father’s mind, his parents’ divorce, and his mother’s secrets. The Last of His Mind is the bittersweet account of a son’s final year with his father, and a candid portrait of an implacable disease. It’s the ordeal of Alzheimer’s that draws father and son close, closer than they have been since John was a boy. At the end, when Joe’s heart stops beating, John’s hand is on his chest, and a story of painful decline has become a portrait of deep family ties, caregiving, and love.
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Latinx Teens
U.S. Popular Culture on the Page, Stage, and Screen
Trevor Boffone and Cristina Herrera
University of Arizona Press, 2022
What can Latinx youth contribute to critical conversations on culture, politics, identity, and representation? Latinx Teens answers this question and more by offering an energetic, in-depth look at how Latinx teenagers influence twenty-first-century U.S. popular culture.

In this exciting new book, Trevor Boffone and Cristina Herrera explore the diverse ways that contemporary mainstream film, television, theater, and young adult literature invokes, constructs, and interprets adolescent Latinidad. Latinx Teens shows how coming-of-age Latinx representation is performed in mainstream media, and how U.S. audiences consume Latinx characters and stories. Despite the challenges that the Latinx community face in both real and fictional settings, Latinx teens in pop culture forge spaces that institutionalize Latinidad. Teen characters make Latinx adolescence mainstream and situate teen characters as both in and outside their Latinx communities and U.S. mainstream culture, conveying the complexities of “fitting in,” and refusing to fit in all at the same time.

Fictional teens such as Spider-Man’s Miles Morales, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter’s Julia Reyes, Party of Five’s Acosta siblings, and In the Heights’s Nina Rosario comprise a growing body of pop culture media that portray young Latinxs as three-dimensional individuals who have agency, authenticity, and serious charisma. Teenagers and young adults have always had the power to manifest social change, and this book acknowledges, celebrates, and investigates how Latinx teens in popular culture take on important current issues.

With a dynamic interdisciplinary approach, Latinx Teens explores how Latinxs on the cusp of adulthood challenge, transform, expand, and reimagine Latinx identities and their relationships to mainstream U.S. popular culture in the twenty-first century.

The book makes a critical intervention into Latinx studies, youth studies, and media cultures. Students and scholars alike will benefit from the book’s organization, complete with chapters that focus on specific mediums and conclude with suggestions for further reading and viewing. As the first book that specifically examines Latinx adolescence in popular culture, Latinx Teens insists that we must privilege the stories of Latinx teenagers in television, film, theater, and literature to get to the heart of Latinx popular culture. Exploring themes around representation, identity, gender, sexuality, and race, the works explored in this groundbreaking volume reveal that there is no single way to be Latinx, and show how Latinx youth are shaping the narrative of the Latinx experience for a more inclusive future.
 
 
[more]

front cover of Life Stages and Native Women
Life Stages and Native Women
Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine
Kim Anderson
University of Manitoba Press, 2011

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Managing to Make It
Urban Families and Adolescent Success
Frank F. Furstenberg, Thomas D. Cook, Jacquelynne Eccles, Glen H. Elder Jr.,
University of Chicago Press, 1999
One of the myths about families in inner-city neighborhoods is that they are characterized by poor parenting. Sociologist Frank Furstenberg and his colleagues explode this and other misconceptions about success, parenting, and socioeconomic advantage in Managing to Make It. This unique study—the first in the MacArthur Foundation Studies on Successful Adolescent Development series—focuses on how and why youth are able to overcome social disadvantages.
Based on nearly 500 interviews and case studies of families in inner-city Philadelphia, Managing to Make It lays out in detail the creative means parents use to manage risks and opportunities in their communities. More importantly, it also depicts the strategies parents develop to steer their children away from risk and toward resources that foster positive development and lead to success.

"Indispensible to anyone concerned about breaking the cycle of poverty and helplessness among at-risk adolescents, this book has a readable, graphic style easily grasped by those unfamiliar with statistical techniques." —Library Journal
[more]

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Maturing with Moxie
A Woman’s Guide to Life after 60
Jan Cannon
University Press of New England, 2018
Whether widowed, divorced, married, or single, more and more women of retirement age are taking control of their lives. Maturing with Moxie takes a close look at personal and professional circumstances affecting women over sixty by surveying the best and latest thinking on issues from housing to health care, finances to family, and combines them all in one practical, go-to volume. The veteran consultant Jan Cannon takes a comprehensive approach to a range of decisions facing women as they age, and offers sensible, helpful advice on everyday questions about employment, Medicare, changing family dynamics, and dating. Drawing on her extensive client case files, Cannon poses provocative questions, designs useful exercises, and offers clear, upbeat examples of women moving forward with purpose. Maturing with Moxie gives women a wealth of resources for finding the answers they need.
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Messages From Home
The Parent-Child Home Program For Overcoming Educational Disadvantage
Phyllis Levenstein and Susan Levenstein
Temple University Press, 2008

The Parent-Child Home Program, a pre-preschool home visiting program, has grown greatly since the first edition of Messages from Home was published in 1988. This expanded and updated edition shows the continued success of this program-spearheaded by the late Phyllis Levenstein-which prepares at-risk children for school success, overcoming educational disadvantage.

Since The Parent-Child Home Program was founded in the 1960s, it has enriched the cognitive, social, and emotional school readiness of tens of thousands of children. The Program's methods, its theoretical underpinnings, and its impressive results are presented in detail. The success stories of both parents and children make inspiring reading. The combination of lively writing and data-driven scientific rigor give it both broad appeal and academic relevance.

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Metabolics
Poems
Jessica E. Johnson
Acre Books, 2023
In this debut poetry collection, a single speaker tries to control her body and negotiate her time with digital devices, all the while navigating identities, impulses, and relationships that are often in tension.

Metabolics, a book-length poem, borrows the movements of metabolic pathways to consider how nature accomplishes both balance and deep transformation. In visual figures and prose blocks that bridge the divide between poetry and nonfiction, Jessica E. Johnson employs scientific idioms to construct an allegory about a family in the Pacific Northwest. The region becomes a character in its own right, with cedars, moss, and heavy cloud knitting the mother, father, boy, and girl into their setting.

This far-reaching volume also serves as a study of the ecologies of contemporary parenting, with adults and children affected by “feeds” both on screen and off as their bodies metabolize food, the environment, and excess feelings such as rage. From climate change to kombucha to smartphones and curated produce, the smallest details of daily life in “Plasticland” catalyze a larger examination of selfhood: “Despite so many attempts to resolve this tension, sometimes you are you and also sometimes mother just as light can be both particle and wave.”
[more]

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The New Gay Teenager
Ritch C. Savin-Williams
Harvard University Press, 2005

Gay, straight, bisexual: how much does sexual orientation matter to a teenager’s mental health or sense of identity? In this down-to-earth book, filled with the voices of young people speaking for themselves, Ritch Savin-Williams argues that the standard image of gay youth presented by mental health researchers—as depressed, isolated, drug-dependent, even suicidal—may have been exaggerated even twenty years ago, and is far from accurate today.

The New Gay Teenager gives us a refreshing and frequently controversial introduction to confident, competent, upbeat teenagers with same-sex desires, who worry more about the chemistry test or their curfew than they do about their sexuality. What does “gay” mean, when some adolescents who have had sexual encounters with those of their own sex don’t consider themselves gay, when some who consider themselves gay have had sex with the opposite sex, and when many have never had sex at all? What counts as “having sex,” anyway? Teenagers (unlike social science researchers) are not especially interested in neatly categorizing their sexual orientation.

In fact, Savin-Williams learns, teenagers may think a lot about sex, but they don’t think that sexuality is the most important thing about them. And adults, he advises, shouldn’t think so either.

[more]

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The Ninth Decade
An Octogenarian’s Chronicle
Klaus, Carl H.
University of Iowa Press, 2021
The Ninth Decade is a path-breaking and timely book on aging: the first to focus explicitly and at length on eighty-somethings, the fastest-growing demographic in the industrialized world. Covering eight years in lively six-month installments, Klaus tells a vivid story not only of his own ninth decade and survival routines, but also of his loving companion, Jackie, who is strikingly different from him in her physical well-being, practical outlook, sociable temperament, and vigorous workouts. Cameos of their octogenarian friends and relatives near and far add to a wide-ranging and revelatory portrayal of advanced aging, as do bios of notable octogenarians.

The multi-year scope of his chronicle reveals the numerous physical and mental problems that arise during octogenarian life and how eighty-year-olds have dealt with those challenges. The Ninth Decade is a unique, first-hand source of information for anyone in their sixties, seventies, or eighties, as well as for persons devoted to care of the aged. Though the challenges of octogenarian life often require specialized care, The Ninth Decade also shows the pleasures of it to be so special as to have inspired Lillian Hellman’s paradoxical description of “longer life” as “the happy problem of our time.”
 
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Off to a Good Start
Social and Emotional Development of Memphis’ Children
Laurie T. Martin
RAND Corporation, 2015
Drawing on national, state, and local data, the Urban Child Institute partnered with RAND to explore the social and emotional well-being of children in Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn. The book highlights the importance of factors in the home, child care setting, and community that contribute to social and emotional development.
[more]

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The Origins of You
How Childhood Shapes Later Life
Jay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt, and Richie Poulton
Harvard University Press, 2020

A Marginal Revolution Book of the Year

After tracking the lives of thousands of people from birth to midlife, four of the world’s preeminent psychologists reveal what they have learned about how humans develop.

Does temperament in childhood predict adult personality? What role do parents play in shaping how a child matures? Is day care bad—or good—for children? Does adolescent delinquency forecast a life of crime? Do genes influence success in life? Is health in adulthood shaped by childhood experiences? In search of answers to these and similar questions, four leading psychologists have spent their careers studying thousands of people, observing them as they’ve grown up and grown older. The result is unprecedented insight into what makes each of us who we are.

In The Origins of You, Jay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie Moffitt, and Richie Poulton share what they have learned about childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, about genes and parenting, and about vulnerability, resilience, and success. The evidence shows that human development is not subject to ironclad laws but instead is a matter of possibilities and probabilities—multiple forces that together determine the direction a life will take. A child’s early years do predict who they will become later in life, but they do so imperfectly. For example, genes and troubled families both play a role in violent male behavior, and, though health and heredity sometimes go hand in hand, childhood adversity and severe bullying in adolescence can affect even physical well-being in midlife.

Painstaking and revelatory, the discoveries in The Origins of You promise to help schools, parents, and all people foster well-being and ameliorate or prevent developmental problems.

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The Origins of You
How Childhood Shapes Later Life
Jay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt, and Richie Poulton
Harvard University Press

A Marginal Revolution Book of the Year

“Brings the groundbreaking research of the top developmental psychologists of the past quarter-century to a wider audience…A masterpiece!”—Dante Cicchetti, Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota

“Deliver[s] a flood of insights around the book’s central question: To what degree do our childhood personalities and behaviors predict our adult selves?”—Wall Street Journal

“One of the best and most important works of the last few years…Fascinating.”—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

Does childhood temperament predict adult personality? What role do parents play in shaping how a child matures? Is day care bad—or good—for children? Does adolescent delinquency forecast a life of crime? Do genes influence success in life? Is one’s health shaped by childhood experiences? In search of answers to these questions, four leading psychologists dedicated their careers to studying thousands of people, observing them as they grew and emerging with unprecedented insight into what makes us who we are.

They found that human development is not subject to ironclad laws so much as a matter of possibilities and probabilities—multiple forces that together determine the direction of one’s life. The early years do predict who we become, but they do so imperfectly. At once actionable and revelatory, The Origins of You is an invaluable guide for parents, teachers, and anyone working with or caring for children.

[more]

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The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs
Early Communication with Your Infant
Leann Sebrey
Gallaudet University Press, 2009

Experienced ASL instructor Leann Sebrey champions two-way sign communication between parents and their infants who are just months old as a way to bond more closely and reduce frustration, while also maximizing the children’s intelligence and emotional quotients.

Sebrey’s book The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs: Early Communication with Your Infant lays out an easy, step-by-step process that will instill confidence in parents who have never signed before. She begins by explaining why ASL is best for all children, both deaf and hearing. Sebrey also recognizes the different ways young children learn, encouraging parents and caregivers to sign with infants at all times as a natural part of their interaction. She reveals the first indications of when a baby is ready to communicate, and includes a list of signs to provide parents with a good starting point. Sebrey discusses the moments when infants are most receptive to learn signs and outlines numerous practical techniques with plenty of helpful hints to speed the process. She describes the pleasure of seeing a baby’s first sign, and tells parents how to interpret baby signs, including what to do when a baby uses the wrong signs. Full of easy-to-grasp illustrations of child and family-oriented signs, The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs is the best how-to book for parents, caregivers, and educators to teach early communication to infants.

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Purpose & Power In Retirement
Harold Koenig
Templeton Press, 2003

 

Eighty million baby boomers are heading toward retirement. Some are retiring now, either out of choice or because they have been laid off. Others will work for a few more years until their retirement plans kick in, until they feel they can retire, or until they're forced to retire. Whatever their age at retirement, they will have better health and live longer than their parents. And each of them will face these questions:

•Do I want a reason to get up in the morning and be excited about the day ahead?
•Do I still want to make a difference in the world?

They need a vision—a goal that takes into account their experience, wisdom, strengths, and limitations, and gives purpose to their lives.

Dr. Harold G. Koenig, with expertise in the fields of geriatrics, mental health, and religion, explains that the notion of retirement was in fact a marketing tool developed in the post–World War II period. Continuing today, society's image of retirement is based largely on myths, such as: things will get better when you retire—you'll be able to do everything you wanted to but couldn't when you worked. In fact, these beliefs can be harmful, leading to emotional issues, identity crises, and problems with physical health.

Citing current scientific and medical research, Koenig illustrates how having a purpose motivates and energizes people in their retirement years. He presents a step-by-step guide to identifying a goal toward which they can strive. And he shows how striving for that goal in itself brings meaning, satisfaction, and a sense of reward to retirement years.

"Finding purpose is more urgent than ever during the retirement years, when the search for purpose becomes one of the deepest of human longings," says Koenig. His Purpose and Power in Retirement is an invaluable resource for everyone heading toward retirement, and for anyone seeking meaning in life.

 

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Rethinking the Youth Question
Education, Labour, and Cultural Studies
Phil Cohen
Duke University Press, 1999
Phil Cohen is a founding scholar in the study of British youth subculture and a key figure at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. In Rethinking the Youth Question, essays representing twenty years of Cohen’s work—beginning in 1969—are presented together for the first time. Some of these essays have not previously been published, others have been difficult to locate, and together they provide a precise conceptual history of the development of British cultural studies and a thoughtful contemplation of the significance of the entire cultural studies enterprise.
With a preface that contextualizes Cohen’s essays for an American audience, Rethinking the Youth Question reflects his tenure as a community organizer and activist in inner-city London and includes ethnographic, theoretical, and historical studies of Britain’s urban youth. Cohen offers an enlightening analysis of British educational policy, develops historical and structural accounts of generational and gendered divisions of labor, and discusses such topics as racism and the rise of the New Right. Also exploring broader questions such as the theoretical and sociological significance of youth as a category, this book is a model of useful methodology and engaged cultural reflection.
With empirical research that combines biographical, autobiographical, critical, cultural, and social elements, Rethinking the Youth Question is sure to impact debates surrounding the pedagogical value of cultural studies and the nature and future of this field in both the United States and Britain. This collection will be informative reading for students and scholars of cultural studies, sociologists, and others interested in the category of youth.


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Risky Behavior among Youths
An Economic Analysis
Edited by Jonathan Gruber
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Every day young people engage in risky behaviors that affect not only their immediate well-being but their long-term health and safety. These well-honed essays apply diverse economic analyses to a wide range of unsafe activities, including teen drinking and driving, smoking, drug use, unprotected sex, and criminal activity. Economic principles are further applied to mental health and performance issues such as teenage depression, suicide, nutritional disorders, and high school dropout rates. Together, the essays yield notable findings: price and regulatory incentives are critical determinants of high-risk behavior, suggesting that youths do apply some sort of cost/benefit calculation when making decisions; the macroeconomic environment in which those decisions are made matters greatly; and youths who pursue high-risk behaviors are significantly more likely to engage in similar behaviors as adults.

This important volume provides both a key data source for public policy makers and a clear affirmation of the usefulness of economic analysis to our understanding of risky behavior.
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Rituals and Patterns in Children's Lives
Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson
University of Wisconsin Press, 2005

    Trick-or-treating. Flower girls. Bedtime stories. Bar and bat mitvah. In a nation of increasing ethnic, familial, and technological complexity, the patterns of children's lives both persist and evolve. This book considers how such events shape identity and transmit cultural norms, asking such questions as:
 
    * How do immigrant families negotiate between old traditions and new?
    * What does it mean when children engage in ritual insults and sick jokes?  
    * How does playing with dolls reflect and construct feelings of racial identity?  
    * Whatever happened to the practice of going to the Saturday matinee to see a Western?
    * What does it mean for a child to be (in the words of one bride) "flower-girl material"?  How does that role
        cement a girl's bond to her family and initiate her into society?  
    * What is the function of masks and costumes, and why do children yearn for these accoutrements of disguise?

    Rituals and Patterns in Children's Lives suggests the manifold ways in which America's children come to know their society and themselves.

[more]

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A Round of Golf with My Father
The New Psychology of Exploring Your Past to Make Peace with Your Present
Damon, William
Templeton Press, 2021

Viewing our past through the eyes of maturity can reveal insights that our younger selves could not see. Lessons that eluded us become apparent. Encounters that once felt like misfortunes now become understood as valued parts of who we are. We realize what we’ve learned and what we have to teach. And we’re encouraged to chart a future that is rich with purpose. 

In A Round of Golf with My Father, William Damon introduces us to the “life review.” This is a process of looking with clarity and curiosity at the paths we’ve traveled, examining our pasts in a frank yet positive manner, and using what we’ve learned to write purposeful next chapters for our lives.

For Damon, that process began by uncovering the mysterious life of his father, whom he never met and never gave much thought to. What he discovered surprised him so greatly that he was moved to reassess the events of his own life, including the choices he made, the relationships he forged, and the career he pursued.

Early in his life, Damon was led to believe that his father had been killed in World War II. But the man survived and went on to live a second life abroad. He married a French ballerina, started a new family, and forged a significant Foreign Service career. He also was an excellent golfer, a bittersweet revelation for Damon, who wishes that his father had been around to teach him the game. 

We follow Damon as he struggles to make sense of his father’s contradictions and how his father, even though living a world apart, influenced Damon’s own development in crucial ways. In his life review, Damon uses what he learned about his father to enhance his own newly emerging self-knowledge. 

Readers of this book may come away inspired to conduct informal life reviews for themselves. By uncovering and assembling the often overlooked puzzle pieces of their pasts, readers can seek present-day contentment and look with growing optimism to the years ahead.

 
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Shades of White
White Kids and Racial Identities in High School
Pamela Perry
Duke University Press, 2002
What does it mean to be young, American, and white at the dawn of the twenty-first century? By exploring this question and revealing the everyday social processes by which high schoolers define white identities, Pamela Perry offers much-needed insights into the social construction of race and whiteness among youth.
Through ethnographic research and in-depth interviews of students in two demographically distinct U.S. high schools—one suburban and predominantly white; the other urban, multiracial, and minority white—Perry shares students’ candor about race and self-identification. By examining the meanings students attached (or didn’t attach) to their social lives and everyday cultural practices, including their taste in music and clothes, she shows that the ways white students defined white identity were not only markedly different between the two schools but were considerably diverse and ambiguous within them as well. Challenging reductionist notions of whiteness and white racism, this study suggests how we might go “beyond whiteness” to new directions in antiracist activism and school reform.
Shades of White is emblematic of an emerging second wave of whiteness studies that focuses on the racial identity of whites. It will appeal to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies, as well as to those involved with high school education and antiracist activities.
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Speed Trap
eighty robberies and fifty years
William W. Allen
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2012
“In this personal account that reads like a novel,
 Allen describes the exhilaration of his youthful rule-breaking behavior
as well as the crushing reality that followed.”
– William Stephens, Ph.D.
[more]

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Spinal Cord Injury and the Family
A New Guide
Michelle J. Alpert M.D.
Harvard University Press, 2008

Spinal cord injury, or SCI, is frequently sudden and unexpected—through accident, disease, or violence, patients temporarily lose control of their bodies and, it seems, their lives. With rehabilitation, they can learn to navigate their world once more, retraining muscles and mind to compensate for paralyzed limbs and diminished strength. But as Dr. Michelle Alpert shows here, there is far more to recapturing full, independent lives than regaining movement. Central to long-term success is mending the family unit.

Combining Dr. Alpert’s clinical experience with patients’ own stories, Spinal Cord Injury and the Family is for individuals and their families who must climb back from injury: for the young quad couple, both quadriplegic, who wish to conceive and raise a child; for the paraplegic dad who wants to teach his daughter to drive; for the couple wondering how they can regain the sexual spark in their relationship.

The authors cover the causes of and prognosis for SCI through case studies, review common courses of rehabilitation, and answer the “what now?” questions—from daily routines to larger issues concerning sex, education and employment, childbearing, and parenting with SCI. Rich in clinical information and practical advice, the book shows how real patients and their families are living full lives after spinal cord injury.

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Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession
Global Perspectives
Lamb, Sarah
Rutgers University Press, 2017
In recent decades, the North American public has pursued an inspirational vision of successful aging—striving through medical technique and individual effort to eradicate the declines, vulnerabilities, and dependencies previously commonly associated with old age. On the face of it, this bold new vision of successful, healthy, and active aging is highly appealing. But it also rests on a deep cultural discomfort with aging and being old.
 
The contributors to Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession explore how the successful aging movement is playing out across five continents. Their chapters investigate a variety of people, including Catholic nuns in the United States; Hindu ashram dwellers; older American women seeking plastic surgery; aging African-American lesbians and gay men in the District of Columbia; Chicago home health care workers and their aging clients; Mexican men foregoing Viagra; dementia and Alzheimer sufferers in the United States and Brazil; and aging policies in Denmark, Poland, India, China, Japan, and Uganda. This book offers a fresh look at a major cultural and public health movement of our time, questioning what has become for many a taken-for-granted goal—aging in a way that almost denies aging itself.
 
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Teach Your Tot to Sign
The Parents' Guide to American Sign Language
Stacy A. Thompson
Gallaudet University Press, 2005

Research has shown that very young children can learn sign language before they learn to speak. Teach Your Tot to Sign: The Parents’ Guide to American Sign Language provides parents and teachers the opportunity to teach more than 500 basic American Sign Language (ASL) signs to their infants, toddlers, and young children. Hearing children, deaf children, and children with special needs can benefit from learning the elementary signs chosen for this handy pocket-size book. Young children who can communicate using simple signs become less frustrated and also bond in a special way with their parents. In teaching ASL to parents of toddlers and preschool teachers, author Stacy A. Thompson recognized the need for a book that could be used at home and in the classroom. Her book features fundamental signs of great appeal to young children and concise instructions on how to sign, including the critical importance of facial expression.

Teach Your Tot to Sign anticipates all of the common desires and interests of young children — food, pets, planes, trains, cars, and boats, games, holidays, vegetables, family — in short, nearly everything. Reflecting children’s endless curiosity, the vocabulary chosen ranges from signs for “baby,” “broken,” “clown,” “dinosaur,” “firefighter,” “gentle,” “hot,” “hurt,” “ketchup,” “pacifier,” “rooster,” “sad,” “spaghetti,” “wagon,” “water,” “wet,” to “you’re welcome,” and even “McDonalds.” This lively assortment of signs will help every child convey earlier in their development their thoughts, feelings, and desires to their parents and teachers.

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There Was an Old Woman
Reflections on These Strange, Surprising, Shining Years
Andrea Carlisle
Oregon State University Press, 2023

Andrea Carlisle isn’t struggling with her new identity as the Old Woman in the ways society seems to think she should. In fact, she is finding her later years to be an extraordinary and interesting time. In trying to understand the discrepancy, she interrogates the sources of negativity in literature, art, and received wisdom that often lead women to dread this transformative time of life. Given the cultural pervasiveness of ill will toward older women, it is small wonder that growing older is not seen as a natural, even desirable, process. Although some elements of aging are hard to reckon with, there is much to make use of and delight in, along with mysteries, surprises, and revelations.

In these personal essays, Carlisle looks for new ways to bring herself more fully to this time of life, such as daily walks with other women and connecting to the natural world that surrounds her houseboat on an Oregon river at the foot of a forest. She writes about experiences shared with many, if not most, older women: wondering at her body’s transformation, discovering new talents, caregiving, facing loss, tuning in to life patterns and drawing strength through understanding them, letting go (or not) of pieces of the past, and facing other changes large and small.

Those curious about, approaching, or living in old age will find wisdom and insight in her unique perspective. In a voice that rings with clarity, humor, and humility, Carlisle shows us that old age is not another country where we can expect to find the Old Woman grimly waiting, but is instead an expansion of the borders in the country we’re most familiar with: ourselves.

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The Third and Only Way
Reflections on Staying Alive
Helen Bevington
Duke University Press, 1996
In this autobiographical volume, the remarkable Helen Bevington looks for answers to the question of how to live or, more specifically, how to confront growing older. A familiar face on the literary landscape since the mid-1940s, Bevington contemplates the course of her own life in view of the suicide of her father, the final years her mother spent in unwilling solitude, and the tragic suicide of her son following a crippling automobile accident from which he could never recover. How is one to face the inevitability of death? What is the third alternative? How to persevere in life?
The unique Bevington way of autobiography recreates lessons and insights of other lives, historical figures, and compelling incidents, and combines them in a narrative that follows the emotional currents of her life. Evoking a wide range of historical and literary figures, including Chekhov, Marcus Aurelius, Flannery O’Connor, Simone de Beauvoir, Thoreau, Beatrix Potter, Sappho, Yeats, Alexander the Great, Montaigne, Saint Cecilia, Virginia Woolf, Liv Ullmann, and many others, Bevington finds in these lives a path that has guided her search away from solitude. Through her reflections on the ten years that followed her son’s death, we become aware of how far she has traveled, how the search has brightened, how she has eloquently evolved into old age. In the end she is sitting, like the Buddha, under her own fig tree, waiting not for death but for further illumination.
An original contemplation of the universal dilemmas and tragedies of existence, The Third and Only Way is at once warm, funny, and inspiring—full of learning and wisdom.
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Transnational Aging and Reconfigurations of Kin Work
Dossa, Parin
Rutgers University Press, 2017
Transnational Aging and Reconfigurations of Kin Work documents the social and material contributions of older persons to their families in settings shaped by migration, their everyday lives in domestic and community spaces, and in the context of intergenerational relationships and diasporas. Much of this work is oriented toward supporting, connecting, and maintaining kin members and kin relationships—the work that enables a family to reproduce and regenerate itself across generations and across the globe.
 
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Welcome to Middle Age!
(And Other Cultural Fictions)
Edited by Richard A. Shweder
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Many of us believe we recognize the symptoms of middle age: lower back pain, mortgages, and an aversion to loud late-night activities. This particular construction of midlife, most often rendered in chronological, biological, and medical terms, has become an accepted reality to European-Americans and has recently spread to such non-Western capitals as Tokyo and New Delhi. Welcome to Middle Age! (And Other Cultural Fictions) explores the significance of this pervasive cultural representation alongside the alternative "fictions" that represent the life course in other regions of the world where middle age does not exist.

In this volume, anthropologists, behavioral scientists, and historians explore topics ranging from the Western ideology of "midlife decline" to cultural representations of mature adulthood that operate without the category of middle age. The result is a fascinating, panoramic collection that explores the myths surrounding and the representations of mature adulthood and of those years in the life span from thirty to seventy.

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Welcome to Wherever We Are
A Memoir of Family, Caregiving, and Redemption
Deborah J. Cohan
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Winner of the 2022 Memoir Prize for Books - Caregiving category​
ESS Public Sociology Award​
Recommended Book in Domestic Violence by DomesticShelters.org

How do you go about caregiving for an ill and elderly parent with a lifelong history of abuse and control, intertwined with expressions of intense love and adoration? How do you reconcile the resulting ambivalence, fear, and anger?
 
Welcome to Wherever We Are is a meditation on what we hold onto, what we let go of, how we remember others and ultimately how we’re remembered. Deborah Cohan shares her story of caring for her father, a man who was simultaneously loud, gentle, loving and cruel and whose brilliant career as an advertising executive included creating slogans like “Hey, how ‘bout a nice Hawaiian punch?” Wrestling with emotional extremes that characterize abusive relationships, Cohan shows how she navigated life with a man who was at once generous and affectionate, creating magical coat pockets filled with chocolate kisses when she was a little girl, yet who was also prone to searing, vicious remarks like “You’d make my life easier if you’d commit suicide.”
 
In this gripping memoir, Cohan tells her unique personal story while also weaving in her expertise as a sociologist and domestic abuse counselor to address broader questions related to marriage, violence, divorce, only children, intimacy and loss. A story most of us can relate to as we reckon with past and future choices against the backdrop of complicated family dynamics, Welcome to Wherever We Are is about how we might come to live our own lives better amidst unpredictable changes through grief and healing.

Questions for Discussion (https://d3tto5i5w9ogdd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/11140346/Cohan_Discussion.docx)
 
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Women among Women
Anthropological Perspectives on Female Age Hierarchies
Edited by Jeanette Dickerson-Putman and Judith K. Brown: Foreword by Nancy Foner
University of Illinois Press, 1994
Are the prerogatives of age universal? This first-ever anthropological exploration of relationships between older and younger women suggests that this may be the case. Cross-cultural in nature, the volume looks at relationships between women of different age groups in a village in Taiwan, a town in central Sudan, a rural setting in western Kenya, an Andean peasant community, a horticultural village in Melanesia, and an Aboriginal community in Australia. Adding an interspecies perspective is a study of two age groups of Japanese Macaques. Included is an ethnographic bibliography that lists books with a wealth of information on women in sixty societies. The volume will appeal not only to anthropologists but also to readers interested in women's issues, gender studies, life course studies, gerontology, and intergenerational relations.
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Youth on Trial
A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice
Edited by Thomas Grisso and Robert G. Schwartz
University of Chicago Press, 2000
It is often said that a teen "old enough to do the crime is old enough to do the time," but are teens really mature and capable enough to participate fully and fairly in adult criminal court? In this book—the fruit of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice—a wide range of leaders in developmental psychology and law combine their expertise to investigate the current limitations of our youth policy. The first part of the book establishes a developmental perspective on juvenile justice; the second and third parts then apply this perspective to issues of adolescents' capacities as trial defendants and questions of legal culpability. Underlying the entire work is the assumption that an enlightened juvenile justice system cannot ignore the developmental psychological realities of adolescence.

Not only a state-of-the-art assessment of the conceptual and empirical issues in the forensic assessment of youth, Youth on Trial is also a call to reintroduce sound, humane public policy into our justice system..

Contributors: Richard Barnum, Richard J. Bonnie, Emily Buss, Elizabeth Cauffman, Gary L. Crippen, Jeffrey Fagan, Barry C. Feld, Sandra Graham, Thomas Grisso, Colleen Halliday, Alan E. Kazdin, N. Dickon Reppucci, Robert G. Schwartz, Elizabeth Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Ann Tobey, Jennifer L. Woolard, Franklin E. Zimring
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