Teenagers Do Dumb Things, but There Are Ways to Limit Recklessness

The New York Times:

By now parents are familiar with the worrisome finding that the thrill-seeking centers of the adolescent brain can readily outmatch the teenage brain’s emerging rational control systems.

I count myself among the adults who find this neurological account of adolescent recklessness to be both clarifying and confounding. It helpfully explains why really thoughtful teenagers sometimes do really dumb things. But experience tells us that some teenagers are much more impulsive than others, so it’s hard to imagine that all adolescents are equally at the mercy of their own gawky brains.

New research sheds light on the question of teenagers and self-control. A study of more than 5,000 adolescents and young adults from 11 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas confirmed that adolescents worldwide have similarly risk-prone brains, but vary substantially in actual risk-taking.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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