© Margaret L. Cunningham, PhD 2002
Last updated May 12, 2012
Some cultures celebrate these times of transition.
There are the baby - toddler - school child stages. In some tribes all children
stay with the women until age seven. The sexes are then separated; boys hunt
and interact with the men while girls learn roles of women in society.
The beginning of adolescence may be recognized symbolically e.g.
with a bar mitzvah or other symbols of attaining the age of choice.
Western cultures acknowledge the end of school
- secondary or college - with graduation ceremonies.
Carl Jung found a common theme in myths and folk tales that addressed this
transition age. Many myths of adventure, dragon slaying, rescuing the
maiden, etc. are stories of this coming of age. That is the time people go out
into the world to conquer, to make their mark. People marry and bear