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Mitchell, John J.

Calgary, Detselig Enterprises, cl986. 198pp. paper. $12.50, ISBN 0-920490-56-5. CIP

Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

Professor Mitchell teaches educational psychology at the University of Alberta. Besides being the author of numerous books in the field of adolescent psychology, his works are standard texts for courses in a number of western countries. This work deals with some of the vital issues of adolescent psychology. In particular, it explores the extent to which adolescence is a "disturbed" time of life, the nature of identity, the nature of adolescent sexuality, and some of the defense mechanisms adolescents use in coping with their environment and with themselves.

The book is divided into two major sections: the first explores general aspects of the adolescent personality; the second given a more detailed examination of the three ages of adolescence. Both sections comprise eleven chapters. Six pages of references and an index conclude the work. The table of contents, being in an outline format, enables the reader to see at a glance the salient topics treated in each chapter. In fact, this reviewer was impressed with the layout of the book, which was developed with the student in mind. The clear, large print and moderate margins make for easy reading.

The author's ability to render profound psychological concepts understandable to the untrained indicates his firm control of the subject matter. Mitchell constantly tries to synthesize the insights of the beacons in the field such as Freud, Erikson, U.S. Sullivan, Block, and Homey.

To any student in the field of psychology this work will be enlightening and useful. To those teachers, counselors, and parents deeply involved with adolescents, this book is essential.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H.S., Chomedey Que.
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