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Adult Children Who Won't Grow Up.

ADULT CHILDREN WHO WON'T GROW UP Dependency could be a lifetime preoccupation for some children. Financial support throughout adulthood could be one manifestation. Another crutch is a childhood game that is played out with parents in settings out of time and out of place.

An adult adolescent is a child over the age of eighteen who is capable of self-sufficiency and independence but who (for some reason) is choosing not to be fully self-sufficient. With this introduction to the book, the authors set out to characterize a problem that has always clouded parent-child relationships but seems to be more prevalent today because the pressures for marriage and reproduction are not as intense as in the past.

These adult children may live alone or across a continent, the writers say, but many of them are childish in terms of their extended dependency despite the fact that they are chronologically adults.

Extended dependency manifests itself in many ways, according to this book. these include low self-esteem, depression, self-pity, excuse making, refusal to accept any form of authority, clinging behavior, poor decision making, job-hopping or chronic unemployment, verbal abuse of the parents, rudeness, ungrateful behavior, a sense of entitlement ("you owe me!"), inability to make commitments, creating one crisis after another, and running home every time there is a problem.

The book serves several worthwhile purposes. It identifies problems in child-parent relationships that have been sensed but not understood. It can also make the confused "grown-up child" understand for the first time that much of the conflicts are not matters of opposing personalities but unresolved and unrealistic needs that should have been dissipated with growth and maturity.

Larry V. Stockman and Cynthia Graves. Published by Contemporary Books, Chicago, Illinois. Price: $17.95.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Vegetus Publications
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1990
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