Richard Lerner

The Tufts University developmental scientist challenges the myth of the troubled adolescent in his new book, “The Good Teen”

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No one's asked me that, ever. I always wanted to be someone working with young people. I thought I would be a phys-ed teacher and a track coach. Then I went to Hunter College in the Bronx, which is now Lehman College. I didn't fit in as a phys-ed major. I went home one night with the college bulletin—I lived in Brooklyn and had an hour-and-forty-minute train ride. I was looking through the bulletin, it said: art, biology, anthropology. Then I get to psychology, and it said, the psychology of personality. I'm 17 years old. I go, hey, I have a good personality. It said, social psychology. Hey, I like parties. It said, the psychology of sex. Wow, that I know I like. I came in the next day, went to the registration and said I’m declaring as psychology major. And that was it.


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