Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Prolonged Adolescence

[Peter] Blos cites a syndrome which he calls prolonged adolescence. In prolonged adolescence a developmental phase which is intended to be left behind becomes a way of life. Instead of the progressive push which normally carries the adolescent into adulthood, prolonged adolescence arrests this forward motion with the result that the adolescent process is not abandoned but kept open-ended. The adolescent crisis is adhered to with persistence, desperation and anxiousness. There is a clinging to the unsettledness of all of life's issues. This leads to the contrivance of ingenious ways to combine childhood gratifications with adult prerogatives. The adolescent struggles to bypass the finality of choices and options that are exacted at the close of adolescence. When these adolescents attempt to rupture childhood dependencies they soon realize that this move is accompanied by a narcissistic impoverishment which they cannot tolerate because they are not prepared to do so. Prolonged adolescence presents the paradoxical picture that there is no conflict to deal with because no conflict is experienced.


Post a Comment

<< Home