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Adultism refers to all attitudes and actions that flow from the idea that adults are superior to young people and have the right to control and punish them at will. These attitudes are embedded in institutions, customs, child rearing practices, and relationships between young people and adults. Psychologist Jack Flasher is generally credited with first using the term in this sense in a 1978 journal article. Although not widely accepted, the concept of adultism has received attention in the children’s rights movement and within critical psychology.

Adultism is pervasive, often unconscious, and deeply influences relationships between youth and adults. It is difficult to identify, challenge, and eliminate precisely because everyone has experienced it to some degree and because much adultist behavior is considered natural and normal ...

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