The Solitary Sparrow Epidemic – A Developmental Perspective on Loneliness in Adolescence1

Author(s): Enrico de Vito

Journal Name: Adolescent Psychiatry

Volume 5 , Issue 3 , 2015

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Background: Adolescence is a crucial nexus for consolidation of either pathological defenses against loneliness or the constructive and creative capacity for solitude. In order to become adults, adolescents must make a transition to authentic autonomy.

Method: In this presentation the author discusses the life of the poet Leopardi and uses clinical material from the psychotherapy of an adolescent to illustrate the complexity and importance of closer examination of the phenomena of loneliness. The author examines various patterns in Anglo-American, European and Asian cultures as they evolve normally and pathologically.

Discussion: Culture plays a large role in both external and internalized attitudes to aloneness, a fact that is reflected linguistically and in defense styles in different countries. But this demand for acceptance and engagement with the reality of separateness has been complicated by social factors, including lack of employment opportunities, lengthy education and dependence, and ambiguity and ambivalence about what constitutes separation from parents and family of origin in different cultures.

Keywords: Adolescence, cultural influences, development, Leopardi, loneliness, separationindividuation.

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Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [164 - 173]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/221067660503151204111634
Price: $65

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