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Adolescent Psychological Development: Rationality, Morality, and Identity

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Review from the first edition:

...I wish to note how pleasantly surprised I was in becoming acquainted with this volume, after 30 years of teaching adolescence courses. Here students are offered a real vision of a period of life that, in most cases, they have just traversed or are still experiencing. Each part is very precise, accurate, and eminently readable. Difficult ideas are explained without condescending adjustments to the student's presumed capacities or interests. For instance, the chapters on moral development are among the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and balanced treatments of this issue that I have seen in textbooks.
Contemporary Psychology

Review from the first edition:
Professor Moshman has written an engaging, uncommonly clear, and uniformly stimulating textbook that will also prove to be an important addition to the adolescent development literature--a rare achievement indeed....This is a careful, well thought-out analysis of three foundational literatures in adolescent development--but now we see better than ever before how they hang together, how they can be integrated with a useful metatheoretical perspective, and why this coherent integration, and perspective, is crucial for the way we educate adolescents. I do believe that the way we conceptualize these features of adolescent development will never be quite the same after the publication of this text.

Daniel Lapsley, Ph.D.
Ball State University

The huge and fractured literature on adolescence challenges both students and scholars. For students there is too much to learn and too little coherence across topics to enable deeper understanding. For scholars, there are few integrative visions to connect minitheories, research programs, and practical concerns.

In the first edition of this advanced text, Moshman provided a constructivist synthesis of the literatures of cognitive, moral, and identity development, from the classic universalist theories of Piaget, Kohlberg, and Erikson through the more pluralist research and theorizing of the late 20th century. Without assuming any prior knowledge of psychology, he introduced and coordinated basic concepts to enable students to wrestle with the questions of concern to experts and help experts see those concerns from a larger perspective.

In this thoroughly updated second edition, Moshman develops his conceptualization of advanced psychological development in adolescence and early adulthood and proposes--in a new chapter--a conception of rational moral identity as a developmental ideal. Unlike the prototypical changes of early childhood, advanced psychological development cannot be understood as progress through universal stages to a universally achieved state of maturity. Progress is possible, however, through rational processes of reflection, coordination, and social interaction.
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