The Teenage Brain: Understanding Developmental Context
Adolescence is a key developmental window characterised by profound changes in cognitive, social and emotion skills. While the majority of young people negotiate the pressures of adolescence well, this stage of life is nonetheless characterised by an increase in risky behaviours, as well as in psychopathology associated with emotional dysregulation such as depression, anxiety and antisocial behaviour. Recent evidence suggests that ongoing brain development during this time of life may contribute to the onset or escalation of these symptoms and behaviours. This talk will review evidence showing ongoing brain development during the second decade of life, and will discuss links between brain development and adolescent behaviour. In particular, I will focus on processes supporting the ability to control our behaviours and emotions, and to understand others’ perspectives. Understanding these developmental processes may be helpful for clinicians working with this population in the context of dysfluency.
Keywords: Adolescence, development, emotion, brain
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