A Fine Young Man: What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys Into Exceptional Men

Michael Gurian, Author
Michael Gurian, Author Jeremy P. Tarcher $24.95 (298p) ISBN 978-0-87477-919-6
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 06/01/1998
Carrying forward some of the themes first introduced in his book The Wonder of Boys (1996), Gurian focuses on male adolescence, a crucial stage of development that, he argues, is in crisis today, being both misunderstood and diminished in importance. Drawing on his own research and experience as a psychotherapist, he lays out a picture of male adolescence that is often bleak: adolescent males are four times as likely as females to commit suicide; only one out of six adolescents diagnosed with ADHD is female, and that 90% of adolescent discipline problems in schools are about males. The thrust of his approach, however, is proactive and ultimately imbued with hope. Gurian emphasizes the importance of family in the three distinct stages (transformation, determination and consolidation) of male adolescent development, which can begin as early as nine and extends through the early 20s. In the nurture/nature debate, Gurian falls somewhere in the middle, explaining and validating the importance of both male ""hardwiring"" (the genetic component) as well as emotional and cultural ""softwiring."" With persuasive eloquence, Gurian outlines thoughtful and practical steps parents and other caregivers can take to create the kind of positive role-models and nurturing support systems that will help boys successfully negotiate the passage to manhood. (July)
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