Childhood Disorders

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Before I DieBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBipolar ChildrenBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoy AloneBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingBullying PreventionBut I Love HimCan't Eat, Won't EatCaring for a Child with AutismCatalystChild and Adolescent PsychiatryChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChild and Adolescent PsychopathologyChild NeuropsychologyChild Well-BeingChildren and SexualityChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeConcepts of NormalityConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinConsuming KidsContesting ChildhoodCount Us InCrackedCrossesCutCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDamageDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDisconnected KidsDoing SchoolDon't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!Don't Pick On MeDying to Be ThinEarly Intervention Programs and PoliciesEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismEight Stories UpElijah's CupEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEpilepticEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEvery Girl Tells a StoryExiting NirvanaExploiting ChildhoodEye ContactFacing BipolarFamily HistoryFast GirlsForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillFrictionGirl CultureGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlhoodGirlWiseHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHandbook of Preschool Mental HealthHealing ADDHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Hyperactive KidsHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHelping Teens Who CutHollow KidsHope's BoyHow Infants Know MindsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHurry Down SunshineI Am Not Joey PigzaIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf Your Adolescent Has an Eating DisorderIn the Company of CraziesIncorporating Social Goals in the ClassroomIntegrated YogaIntrusive ParentingIssues for Families, Schools and CommunitiesJake RileyJoey Pigza Loses ControlJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKim: Empty InsideLearning and Behavior Problems in Asperger SyndromeLearning Disorders and Disorders of the Self in Children and AdolescentsLearning Outside the Lines Let Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLook Me in the EyeLoserLove and SexLove That DogMad at SchoolMaking ADD WorkMaking American BoysManicMastering Anger and AggressionMaverick MindMedicating ChildrenMind FieldsMind to MindMommy I'm Still in HereMore Than a LabelMy Flesh and BloodMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Look at ADHD: Inhibition, Time, and Self-ControlNo Child Left DifferentNo Two AlikeNon-Drug Treatments for ADHDNot Much Just Chillin'NurtureShockOdd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the WoodsOvercoming ADHDOvercoming School AnxietyParenting a Child Who Has Intense EmotionsParenting Children With ADHDParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeople with HyperactivityPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPlease Don't Label My ChildPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Problem GirlsPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPurgeRaising a Moody ChildRaising BlazeRaising Generation RxRaising Resilient ChildrenReady or Not, Here Life ComesReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRemembering Our ChildhoodResilience in ChildrenRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRunning with ScissorsRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySeeing EzraSex and the American TeenagerSex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShort Term 12Should I Medicate My Child?SmashedSnapshots of AutismSongs Without WordsSophie Spikey Has a Very Big ProblemSpeakStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsStraight Talk about Psychological Testing for KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrange SonStudent DepressionSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved Too MuchThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe Philosophy of AutismThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Ride TogetherThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Science of ADHDThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Survival Guide for Kids With LD*The Unhappy ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouThings Tom LikesThrough the Glass WallThumbsuckerTotally WiredTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreating ADHD and Comorbid DisordersTreatment of Childhood DisordersTwistedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnhappy TeenagersUnstrange MindsWastedWe've Got IssuesWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWhat about the KidsWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Works for Whom?What Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?

Related Topics
The Identity TrapReview - The Identity Trap
Saving Our Teens from Themselves
by Joseph Nowinski
American Management Association, 2007
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H.
Jun 24th 2008 (Volume 12, Issue 26)

The Identity Trap, at its heart, is a book about parenting, teenagers, and identity development.  The author, Joseph Nowinski, is an Associate Adjunct Professor of  Psychology at the University of Connecticut, with a deep reservoir of professional experience counseling teenagers and their parents spanning over twenty years.  As contemplated by Nowinski, as a teenager's "identity" takes form, it will mold the ensuing shape of the teenager's attitudes, actions, and expectations.  And for some teenagers, the shackles of an emerging identity may have sorely problematic consequences.  Nowinski's determined exploration of some of the myriad tributaries of the psychologically turbulent waters of identity uncovers a great abundance of practical advice, penned in easy to understand English, and targeted especially to parents of teenagers ensnared by identity traps.

The book's respective chapters encompass quite distinct structural elements.  A "Reality Check" component embodies the text with an expansive source of anecdotal information.  Critical readers may admonish that the not inconsiderable tinging of the text with information of an anecdotal nature dilutes its didactic potency.  But discerning readers may counter compellingly that the Reality
Check case materials suffusing the textual substance instructively illustrate problems real life teenagers have experienced in the course of developing their identities.  And further, that the acumen revealed by Nowinski in evaluating these materials may strengthen the efforts of readers (who are parents of teenagers) struggling to help their children escape from debilitating identity traps and enter adulthood bound tightly to healthy identities.

Another structural tool ("Guiding Your Teen…") wielded with considerable power by Nowinski has the form of identity centric guidelines fleshed out by accompanying commentary.  Some of the guidelines proposed by Nowinski are arguably relatively simplistic and generalized in nature; and some may disagree with particular views expressed by Nowinski in the commentaries adding flesh to the bones of the guidelines.  But a powerful contrary view is that the information presented may intellectually empower parents of teenagers with a saber to sever identity chains entrapping their children.

At a chapter's end, Nowinski customarily presents questions ("FAQs"), pertinent to concerns parents may confront in the nettlesome realm of identity development in teenagers.  Nowinski shows considerable insightfulness in the answers he proposes to such questions (which may incite a multiplicity of expert views).

A relatively limited number of "Exercises" embedded in the text are designed well to intellectually stimulate parents to think in ways that may facilitate the demanding task of helping their children develop a wholesome identity.  Critics may caution, however, that answers to exercises of the sort prepared by Nowinski should optimally be evaluated in tandem with a knowledgeable professional.

Numerous "HEADS UP!" fragments inserted into the text pithily offer practical focused counsel to parents of identity challenged teenagers, although some may decry the HEADS UP! advice as being trite in nature.

Substantively, the text overflows refreshingly with pleasingly helpful comment joined to the subject area of parenting, teenagers, and identity development.

In Chapter Two, Nowinski expounds on the necessity of appropriately balancing an understanding of a child's past with wise appreciation of the great importance of a child's present and future.

Perspicacious examination of the identity trap of alienation is the crux of Chapter Three.  As explicated by Nowinski, an alienated youth may develop an identity as an "outsider",  which may  plant the seeds of self destructiveness.

The concept of transparent parenting absorbs the close interest of Nowinski, in Chapter Four.  As conceptualized by Nowinski, being a "transparent" parent means exposing your child to a window openly showing the child how your own identity was formed.

The focus of Chapter Five is sharply on the problematic issue of how parents properly should communicate with combative teenagers.

As is his wont, Nowinski in particular relation to this issue endeavors to inform parents sagely.

The tapestry of Chapter Six is interwoven artfully with commentary showing how parents can help a teenager develop a "resilient" identity (in contradistinction to a "fragile" identity).

The intellectually penetrating gaze of Nowinski reaches, in Chapter Seven, to the relationship entwining adversity and identity.  Nowinski thematically propounds the message that perseverance, in the face of adversity, is a conduit leading to a healthy identity.  Congruently, Nowinski warns that parents who with good, if naïve, intentions seek to shield their children from adversity may unwittingly foster fragile identities.

Drawing center stage attention, in Chapter Eight, is parental setting and enforcing of reasonable limits affecting teenagers.  Inside this frame, family culture, rituals and traditions garner rapt attention.

Self destructive behavior by teenagers ("cutting"), as pieces often importantly relevant to solving the enigmatic puzzle of a teenager's emerging identity, is the sobering subject of penultimate Chapter Nine.

"Spirituality", especially as it may affect identity development, is the cynosure of concluding Chapter Ten.

A "Guide" presented in question and answer format, and intended to summarize major elements of the book, is appended to the text.

Readers in search of the usual trappings of academic writing may take critical note of the heavy dose of anecdotal matter injected into the textual corpus, a stylistic informality slanted steeply away from academic styled writing, and the dearth of academic references.

But the virtues of the book vastly exceed any real or imagined deficiencies.  The book's intellectually delectable savor should gladden parents of teenagers, teenagers, and other family members of teenagers.  The contents of the book likewise should be a great boon to psychologists, psychiatrists, and pediatricians.

© 2008 Leo Uzych

Leo Uzych (based in Wallingford, PA) earned a law degree, from Temple University; and a master of public health degree, from  Columbia University.  His area of special professional interest is healthcare.


Welcome to Metapsychology. We feature over 8200 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716