Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Laurence Steinberg

American Author and Professor of Psychology at Temple University

"What causes adolescents to rebel is not the assertion of authority but the arbitrary use of power, with little explanation of the rules and no involvement in the decision-making."

"The reason that kids take chances when they drive is not because they're ignorant. It's because other things undermine their better judgment."

"Adolescents sometimes say..."My friends listen to me, but my parents only hear me talk." Often they are right. Familiarity breeds inattention. "

"Most adults would not dream of belittling, humiliating, or bullying (verbally or physically) another adult. But many of the same adults think nothing of treating their adolescent child like a nonperson. . . . Adolescents deserve the same civility their parents routinely extend to total strangers."

"Adolescents need to be reassured that nothing—neither their growing maturity, their moods, their misbehavior, nor your anger at something they have done—can shake your basic commitment to them."

"Peer pressure is not a monolithic force that presses adolescents into the same mold... generally choose friend whose values, attitudes, tastes, and families are similar to their own. In short, good kids rarely go bad because of their friends."

"Parents sometimes feel that if they don't criticize their child, their child will never learn. Criticism doesn't make people want to change; it makes them defensive."