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Miami University Historical Picture of Adolescence Discussion

Miami University Historical Picture of Adolescence Discussion


Historical Picture of Adolescence

For this section of the module, you will be reading a book chapter from a best-selling book about parenthood. This book, while focused on parenthood itself, offers a good summary of some key historical information about the evolution of adolescence. As with many resources, it does have its limitations.

Class and Socioeconomic Status

As stated by the author Jennifer Senior herself:

“…this book is about the middle class. Some of the families here may be struggling more than others, but all have to wrestle with difficult economic realities, whether they’re social workers or shift workers, doctors, or installers of security systems. I spend little time in the precincts of the elite because their concerns aren’t especially relatable (practically every child in this book goes to public school). But I also do not focus on the poor, because the concerns of poor parents as parents are impossible to view on their own. They are inextricable from the daily pressure to feed and house themselves and their children. ” (p.11-12)

APA Citation: Senior, J. (2014) All joy and no fun: The paradox of modern parenthood. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Consider as well the picture of historical adolescence and success. Was that success available to everyone? Is it limited to class or does it intersect with other identities?

Other identities and family types

As you read, consider other populations that may be left out of this picture of adolescence. You will be addressing this in the reading assignment for this sub-module.


We’ll talk a little bit more about theories in the next sub-module, but several key theories surface in this reading. If you are unfamiliar with any of the theories mentioned, please take note and investigate them further. Relate the development of these theories to the historical context in which they developed.


Please read the following chapter from All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior:

You may skip/skim the anecdotes, though they can be helpful in understanding the concepts presented and are enjoyable to read.

PDF scanned chapter


Document accessible to screen-readersAs with all resources, I encourage you to read with a critical eye and dig into the studies and articles cited within popular news pieces to help make decisions about their credibility. I provide links to resources, articles, and blog posts in order to provide a variety of perspectives and opportunities for critical thinking, but some sources will be more scholarly and/or reputable than others.

Please be sure to review the reading before completing this assignment.

This reading assignment is a short writing assignment. It is an individual assignment to be completed on your own without outside help. You may reference the course resources as you complete this assignment and you are expected to informally cite the source of any information you reference (item + page).


In addition to the class disparities mentioned already, what other populations, groups, or family types are underrepresented in this chapter? How does this compare with what was discussed in your earlier readings about representation and the lack of data on minority populations? 

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