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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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The Sign Reads ‘Keep Out’

The Sign Reads ‘Keep Out’

(p.79) Four The Sign Reads ‘Keep Out’
Get Out of My Room!

Jason Reid

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the growing popularity of teen bedroom culture during the years following the Second World War. Although academically-trained child development experts continued to emphasize the value of separate bedrooms during this time, popular advice experts such as Abigail Van Buren and Ann Landers began to replace them as the teen bedroom's biggest cheerleader. Popular advice was very much informed by various child development theories, but the new generation of experts tended to focus on more practical matters, such as rules on upkeep, ways of maximizing the bedroom's educational value, and how to balance the privacy demands of teens with parental fears of misbehavior. Firsthand accounts are also discussed in order to better understand how the teen bedroom as an ideal didn't always match up with reality.

Keywords:   child development theory, popular advice, knocking rule, education, messy bedrooms, Abigail Van Buren, Ann Landers, hobbies, parent-child relationship, Arnold Gesell

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