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  • 2018TuckerPhD

    Final published version, 1.73 MB, PDF document

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Mapping the Adolescent Landscape: An enriched account of adolescence

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2020
Number of pages307
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The aim is to make a start on developing a comprehensive and integrated account of the adolescent transition, and to use this to articulate changes in adolescents’ relationships with their parents, and with institutions and the state. The thesis builds on existing work on the adolescent transition to offer an enriched map of the adolescent landscape. I argue that extant accounts over-simplify what is a highly complex period. I develop a gradualist multi-sphere model based on the many spheres of activity that open up to adolescents during the adolescent transition. Each sphere is associative and involves a range of responsibilities, powers, and rights. Negotiation of each sphere requires various skills, capacities, and knowledge, some of which are sphere-specific, others which are useful across several spheres of activity. Relationships are of central importance to understanding changes in adolescent status. To develop the relevant skills and competences needed to participate in each sphere requires practise and experience, and successful negotiation of new spheres requires familiarisation. Parents can facilitate the right kind of familiarisation and practise within spheres by mediating children’s relationships with institutions and organisations, but then must allow adolescents to negotiate these relationships when they are able to. Existing legislation reflects an underlying commitment to sphere-based gradualism. The sphere-model provides an integrated account of the adolescent transition that can make sense of gradual changes in status as adolescents mature at both an informal or social level, and at a more formal legislative level.