Teenagers always have been a secret perplexing their folks: What was he supposing when he drove down a restricted road the wrong route only for kicks? Why is she neglectful of the store of clothes piled on the bedroom floor for two weeks? (Morris Cleaners 10028)
Frances Jensen, a neuroscientist and single parent of two young men, considered these inquiries and some more, at that point dove into the developing study of the youthful mind. She turned out with provocative new bits of knowledge for parents, educators, open policymakers and teens themselves. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
“I thought, I’ve got the skill set for this. I’m a parent, a neurologist and I care for teen patients,” said Jensen, who was in Washington this week for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. “And it was all in the scientific journals not available to the public, locked away in the ivory tower.” (Morris Cleaners 10028)
As she pored through the scientific studies, she shared her findings with other parents. One thing led to another, and soon Jensen was giving talks for parents and students called “Teen Brain 101.” (Morris Cleaners 10028)
The response from befuddled parents was huge, she said. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
“They would say, ‘So that’s why it’s happening. Thank goodness someone explained what that was,’ ” she said. “The effect was big for people and for me, too.”
She detailed her discoveries in “The Teenage Brain,” co-written with Amy Ellis Nutt, a reporter at the Newark Star Ledger who later joined The Washington Post as a health and science reporter. Published earlier this year, the book is a bestseller. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
Brain science developed during the past dozen years obliterates some long-held assumptions about teenagers, including the belief that their erratic, often risky and rebellious behavior is driven by hormones.
In spite of the fact that hormones do assume some part, Jensen stated, a lot of youngster conduct can be followed to the way that their brains are not completely developed. In opposition to past idea, brains are not completely created by kindergarten; development proceeds past pre-adulthood into the mid-20s, Jensen said. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
In teens, that implies the prefrontal cortex — which makes judgments, figures dangers and controls driving forces — isn’t yet completely associated with the district of the cerebrum that looks for delight and reward. Jensen puts it this way: “It’s like a Ferrari without brakes.”
That’s a problem because the teen brain also is more susceptible to addiction than the adult brain, said Jensen, who chairs the neurology department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
“They get addicted stronger, deeper and faster than adults, and the effects last longer,” she said. “If they get high during the weekend, the brain” is affected for days. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
Alcohol and marijuana briefly calm the grown-up mind, be that as it may, she stated, they can for all time harm the youngster cerebrum. That is a worry as an expanding number of states decriminalize marijuana, Jensen said. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
“It’s just so easy to get these things,” she said. “It’s so available. And there are parents who have been told it’s fine, it’s harmless. But it blocks an important step” in brain development.
Although teens can do irreversible damage to their brains, they also can make amazing improvements. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
When thought to be set in adolescence, IQ is liquid amid the young years, Jensen said. Studies demonstrate that amid puberty, IQ will increment in 33% of teenagers, diminish in a third and stay stable in another third, she said. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
“The idea that IQ is malleable suggests that teenage years are extremely important in terms of the right kind of brain stimulation,” Jensen said. “It’s a time of working on strengths while trying to improve weaknesses. How you treat your brain in the teen years will define your base line for the rest of your life.”
An enhanced situation, connecting after-school exercises and a strong instructive setting are particularly vital amid high schooler years, she said. (Morris Cleaners 10028)
It also means there is hope for the late bloomer.
“If you’re not a scholar by 14, a lot of educational systems track you, and if you’re not at the top, you go into vocational training,” she said. “But if you’re getting C’s and D’s, that may not be your destiny — you’re just in the wrong place. The U.S. educational system is quite lenient in this regard. Late bloomers exist, and you can see it, like people who transfer from a community college to a four-year university.” (Morris Cleaners 10028)
Understanding the teenage brain made Jensen a more patient mother to Will, 24, and Andrew, 27. “I stayed connected to them,” she said. “That was probably the most important thing. I’d count to 10 and stay connected. If you alienate your kids, you’ll lose them.” (Morris Cleaners 10028)
“It’s a tough time in life,” Jensen said. “You don’t know what your identity is, but you’re at a huge advantage to work on strengths and weaknesses. And, by the way, you can change your IQ. Similarly, if you shoplift and do something dumb because someone dared you and you get caught, it doesn’t have to define your life.” (Morris Cleaners 10028)
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