We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more


Character Formation and Identity in Adolescence

Clinical and Developmental Issues

Randolph L. Lucente

Publication Date - December 2011

ISBN: 9780190616311

176 pages
5.9 x 8.9 inches


Randolph Lucente examines the development of character in the adolescent stage, the process of a second separation-individuation, and ways to treat the adolescent client. Character Formation and Identity in Adolescence draws on psychodynamic and psychoanalytic theory as well as neuropsychobiology to explain the adolescent transition to an adult sense of self. The clinical material features in-depth case vignettes that include clients on the borderline/narcissistic spectrum with arrests in separation-individuation substages and insecure early attachments. Therapeutic attunements that are affect-regulating, mentalizing, and mindsight-oriented are featured in each of these clinical vignettes and suggest outcomes that potentiate vertical as well as bilateral cerebral hemispheric integrations. The book contains a synthesis of the theories of psychoanalysis, psychodynamics, self psychology, neurobiology, and the concepts of intersubjectivity, attachment-differentiation, narcissism, and affect regulation.


  • Looks at character formation in adolescents using a synthesis of pyschodoynamic theory, pscyhoanality theory, and neuropsychobiology.
  • In-depth case vignettes derived from clinical experience
  • A closing discussion on the role of the clinician in research and data collection

About the Author(s)

Randolph L. Lucente (MSW, PhD, University of Illinois, Chicago) is professor of social work at Loyola University in Chicago. He has been teaching for more than twenty years and maintains a private practice treating adults, adolescents, and children. He has published numerous articles on development and identity in adolescents.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Adolescent Development and Clinical Process
    Chapter 2. Narcissism, Character Formation, and Separation-Individuation
    Chapter 3. Splitting, Differentiation, and Identity
    Chapter 4. Affect Regulation and the True Self
    Chapter 5. Qualitative Clinical Inquiry