Books by Laurence Steinberg

AGE OF OPPORTUNITY by Laurence Steinberg
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"A clear and canny look into the adolescent brain that will help influence adolescent lives for the better. "
Advice from developmental psychologist Steinberg (Psychology/Temple Univ.; The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting, 2004, etc.) on navigating and nurturing the adolescent mind. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1996

A forceful analysis of the declining achievement of American students, coupled with sensible suggestions to reverse the decline. Based on research questionnaires and interviews conducted over a 10-year period with a cross-section of more than 20,000 teenagers from nine high schools, Steinberg (Developmental Psychology/Temple Univ.; Crossing Paths, 1994) contends that school reforms of the past 15 years have not accomplished anything: Today's high school graduates, he writes, are among the ``least intellectually competent in the industrialized world.'' Steinberg claims that they know less and can do less than their counterparts did 25 years ago. The majority don't strive for success, he adds; they are content to coast. The average student is ``disengaged'' from the educational process. Viewing school as a ``nuisance,'' students place it at the bottom of their list of priorities, and while physically present, they don't pay attention or work at their studies. Their social lives seem to matter far more than their education. Steinberg convincingly attributes the weakness of American students to factors outside the classroom. Among these are: parents who have little interest in their children's education; a peer culture that ``demeans academic success and scorns students who try to do well in school''; and a schedule that allows students to devote an excessive amount of time to vacuous social activities. Changing students' and parents' attitudes and behavior is vital, the author asserts, offering a series of proposals intended to make schooling the primary activity of childhood and adolescence. Striving for educational excellence, Steinberg asserts, must begin to take priority over socializing and participation in organized sports. All four-year colleges must begin to tighten their admission standards so that students are forced to take school more seriously. Steinberg and his colleagues clearly advances the current debate surrounding education. Well-researched and provocative, Beyond the Classroom is likely to challenge the assumptions of many of its readers. (Author tour) Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

A sensible analysis of the turmoil that adolescence triggers within parents. While most of the research regarding adolescence has centered on teenagers, Laurence Steinberg (Psychology/Temple Univ.; You and Your Adolescent, not reviewed) focuses on their parents, contending that when the firstborn child reaches adolescence, the entire family is affected. Adolescence, he argues, is often more stressful for parents than for the youngsters. He feels that the midlife crisis is triggered not so much by work or worries about physical decline, but ``by the intersecting journeys of the adolescent and the middle-aged parent.'' Recognizing the dramatic physical changes in their maturing children forces parents to confront their own aging and mortality. Watching a child's emerging sexuality can trigger a wide range of emotions, from mere discomfort to outright jealousy. It is not uncommon, contends Steinberg, for parents to compare themselves with their children; a father, for example, who was socially awkward as a teenager may find himself envious of his son's popularity. Along with adolescent social success comes the inevitable shutting out of the parents, which may make them feel abandoned. All of these feelings and reactions often spill over into marriage and work. Almost 90% of couples experience marital difficulties during their firstborn's adolescence. Steinberg backs up his thesis with many case studies, which are, however, not representative of diverse classes and cultures. He offers practical coping advice, urging parents to be aware of their conflicting emotions, to modify their family relationships to fit their child's emerging independence, and to nurture personal interests that allow them some distance from parenting. A practical, solidly researched and documented parents'-eye view of adolescence. Read full book review >