Dartington (1994) proposed that taking up a position of ‘temporary outsidership’ is a necessary part of adolescent development, and that it provides a way of assimilating the transition from being a child in the family to an adult in the social world. This chapter discusses difficulties in adolescence from the perspective of outsidership. The concept of temporary outsidership is explained and applied to issues in adolescent development, leading to a focus on the anxieties and difficulties in maintaining a position on the boundary, between the inside of the family and the outside of the social world. Failure to reach and sustain the position of temporary outsidership leads to distinctive adolescent difficulties. Some of the difficulties which may be thought of as characteristic of adolescents as outsiders — especially antisocial behaviour, offending behaviour and drug use — are discussed.
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