Adolescence as a culture-bound syndrome

Robert F. Hill, J. Dennis Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


In keeping with an expanded definition of culture-bound syndromes, this paper argues that adolescence in American society has been 'medicalized' into a full-blown symptom complex or pathologic condition. Culture-bound syndromes in highly differentiated societies such as the U.S., may be taxanomically sorted by distinctive cultural identity system domains of age, gender, family, vocation and ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • American society
  • adolescence
  • culture
  • medicine
  • psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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