On the Dialectics of Pubescence and Psychosocial Development

Gerald R. Adams, Tom Day, Patricia H. Dyk, Ellen Frede, Donna R.B. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Research on the association between pubescence and psychosocial development is expanding, but comparative development of theoretical frameworks lags behind. To expand a dialogue on the use of dialectic theory for understanding adolescent development, this article presents an overview of the basic tenets of a dialectical perspective regarding development. One conceptualization of the dialectic process and a general portrait of the dialectics of physical development and appearance are offered to demonstrate how this theoretical perspective could be used to provide structure to current knowledge regarding research on pubescence. Specific attention is given to the meaning and utility of the contrast between congruence and discordance, tranquility and tension, and constructive and destructive reconciliation. Methodological challenges are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-365
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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