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Get Out of My Room!A History of Teen Bedrooms in America$
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Jason Reid

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226409214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226409351.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2020

A Site of Developmental Significance

A Site of Developmental Significance

(p.39) Two A Site of Developmental Significance
Get Out of My Room!

Jason Reid

University of Chicago Press

The second chapter focuses solely on the outsized role child development experts played in transforming the teen bedroom into a must-have feature of the modern family home during the early decades of the 20th century. The ideas of G. Stanley Hall, Sigmund Freud, John Watson, and other prominent experts are examined in order to highlight the relationship between the autonomous bedroom and positive developmental outcomes. A teenager's sleeping space, many experts argued, could help emancipate adolescents from parental control and nurture character traits that were prized in American culture at that time, including independence, creativity, introspection, and respect for personal property. Although teen bedroom culture was still largely limited to affluent families during this time, child development experts adopted a more universal approach to the subject, offering poorer parents advice on how to overcome spatial limitations within the home and chastizing parents who refused to provide young boys with rooms of their own. Indeed, many experts claimed that the teen bedroom could act as a containment tool that could help keep boys and girls alike off the streets and out of trouble.

Keywords:   child development, psychological weaning, privacy, Sigmund Freud, John Watson, G. Stanley Hall, containment, social science, Mary Astor, masturbation hysteria

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