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November 1963

The Psychiatrist and the Normal Adolescent

Author Affiliations

Assistant Director, Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center Professor and Head, (Dr. Offer); Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois College of Medicine (Dr. Sabshin).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(5):427-432. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720170001001

Introduction  For many of you the phrase "normal adolescent" may seem like a hopeless paradox. The prevalent concept of adolescent turbulence does not evoke images of socalled normal behavior. Nevertheless, by entitling our paper The Psychiatrist and the Normal Adolescent, we hoped to convey our feelings that the present day psychiatrist should be knowledgeable about the behavior of the average,* modal,* or normal* adolescenct and be as concerned with his behavior as with the psychopathology of adolescence. We are engaged in a research program designed to select a normal adolescent population by experimental means out of a large sample and to study this group by other techniques including depth interviews. The present paper is primarily focused upon the methodological problems involved in selecting the normal sample. In subsequent papers we plan to present clinical and experimental data comparing our experimental group with other adolescent populations.

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