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November 23, 1970

"The Music of Their Laughter

JAMA. 1970;214(8):1568. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180080148045

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Amidst the welter of discussion about the "generation gap," this book may be unique. Here are lengthy statements by 32 uppermiddle-class youngsters, presented without adult interpretation or valued judgment. The authors, themselves aged 32 and 21, interviewed 21 boys and 11 girls, all living in suburban areas in the Northeast. Evidently the subjects were chosen in part for their willingness to talk in the presence of a tape-recorder. The statements seem frank and uninhibited.

Nearly all these high school and college students have used "soft" drugs, marijuana and hashish, several have used other drugs. Most of these students have had considerable sex experience, some of the girls have had abortions. The majority are still attending school, but express little enthusiasm for their studies. All are in comfortable financial circumstances, but several talk about stealing. A few are having psychotherapy.

One of the subjects has been in the Marine Corps, one

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