Seekers of Meaning 10/20/2023: Professor Laurence Steinberg, author of “You and Your Adult Child”

On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D.,  a Distinguished University Professor and the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Temple University, discusses his new book, You and Your Adult Child: How to Grow Together in Challenging Times.

A much-needed guide for parents of people in their twenties and thirties from one of the world’s leading developmental psychologists. (Click image to order book.)

Your child is now an adult, but your job as a parent is far from over. Instead, your role must evolve to meet their ongoing, changing needs. But what exactly are these new needs? And why are they so different now than they were when you were a young adult?

This is the first comprehensive guide written for parents whose children are in two of the most crucial decades of life. Steinberg discusses topics as varied as whether and how you should be involved in your child’s college education, how to behave when they unexpectedly must move back home, how to state your opinion on their romantic partners, what to do when you disagree with the way they are raising their own child, and what parameters to apply if you want to give them money for a home or startup.

He answers such challenging questions as: When do I express my opinion and when should I bite my tongue? How do I know if my son is floundering? Is it okay to help my daughter with her grad school application? What should I do if my kid is getting seriously involved with someone I think is dangerous? We have been helping our twenty-five-year-old financially for the last few years, but how long is too long? How can I help my adult child through a difficult psychological time?

Leading psychologist Laurence Steinberg has devoted his forty-five-year career to researching parent-child relationships. Here, he provides some basic principles to help parents with adult children think more intelligently about common issues, avoid minefields, weather the inevitable ups and downs, and create a stronger, happier, more effective bond with their child.

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About the Guest

Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D.

Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts on adolescence, is a Distinguished University Professor and the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Temple University. He taught previously at Cornell University, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Steinberg is the author of nearly 500 articles and essays on development during the teenage years, and the author, co-author, or editor of 16 books. He has been a featured guest on numerous television programs, including CBS Morning News, TodayGood Morning America20/20DatelinePBS News HourVICE HBO,and The Oprah Winfrey Show, and is a frequent consultant on adolescence for print and electronic media, including the New York Times and NPR. He has also written for the New York TimesWall Street JournalWashington PostUSA TodaySlate, and Psychology Today. A graduate of Vassar College and Cornell University, Dr. Steinberg is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. His newest book isYou and Your Adult Child: How to Grow Together in Challenging Times.

Dr. Steinberg is a former President of the Division of Developmental Psychology of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for Research on Adolescence. He has been the recipient of numerous honors, including lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Research on Adolescence. In 2009, he was named the first recipient of the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for Productive Youth Development, one of the largest prizes ever awarded to a social scientist. In 2014 he received the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, a national teaching prize, for having inspired his former students to make a significant contribution to society.

A nationally and internationally renowned expert on psychological development during adolescence, Dr. Steinberg’s research has focused on a range of topics in the study of contemporary adolescence, including adolescent brain development, risk-taking and decision-making, parent-adolescent relationships, adolescent employment, high school reform, and juvenile justice. His work has been funded by a variety of public and private organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U. S. Army, the MacArthur Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the Spencer Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. He has been a Faculty Scholar of the William T. Grant Foundation and was Director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice.  

Dr. Steinberg served as a member of the National Academies’ Panel on the Health Implications of Child Labor and the Board on Children, Youth, and Families and chaired the National Academies’ Committee on the Science of Adolescence.  He has been a frequent consultant to state and federal agencies and lawmakers on child labor, secondary education, and juvenile justice policy and was the lead scientist on the amicus curiae briefs filed by the American Psychological Association in Roper v. Simmons, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that abolished the juvenile death penalty, as well as several subsequent Supreme Court cases that placed limits on the use of life without parole as a sentence for juveniles. He has also provided expert testimony and consultation in a number of civil and criminal cases involving adolescent brain and psychological development.

More information is available at his website,

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