Becoming an Adult in the 1980s

  • John Paul McKinney
Part of the Child Nurturance book series (CHILDNUR, volume 4)


In most cultures, childhood is a stage of the life cycle that is loved and revered, at least in words, if not always in actions. Children and childhood may be admired because it is in them that adult hopes for the future and the world are high. It is almost as if when everything else in life suggests despair, we look at our children and find our hope for the future once again resurrected. Therefore, it is in many ways difficult to give up children or their childhood for adulthood and maturity. It is for example, one of the most agonizingly painful and difficult tasks for a parent to lose a child to death, whether suddenly or slowly, in infancy or at any childhood age. It is also difficult for parents who are unable economically, psychologically or physically to care for their child to relinquish and commit that child to the care of somebody else. It is difficult for parents who are abusive or otherwise found incapable to give up their children. Finally, it is difficult for all of us at different times and in different ways to say good-bye to our own childhood or to our children and their childhood. In loving our children we tend to hold up their stage of life as an ideal to us all. “Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”


Anorexia Nervosa Conformity Behavior Formal Operation Simultaneous Stability Short Wave Radio 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Paul McKinney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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