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September 18, 1937

What It Means to Grow Up: A Guide in Understanding the Development of Character

JAMA. 1937;109(12):980. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780380064028

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Künkel outlines simply and directly the dynamics of the development of personality types and enumerates the basic determinants in the formation of various behavior patterns. The book identifies critical situations in growth and stresses the necessity of the individual facing them to alter his personality structure in the direction of maturity. Maturity, Künkel states, is gaged by the development of "tension capacity," the possession of which differentiates adult behavior from immature reaction patterns. Tension capacity, which in everyday life is synonymous with courage, enables one to ignore egocentric drives and achieve objective attitudes. A person who lacks this faculty adheres to selfish patterns and is unable to meet menacing life situations satisfactorily. In the last chapter a discussion of the critical growth period from childhood to maturity is well treated. The suggested philosophy of life is constructive and is founded on tangible principles. In emphasizing the part played by early

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