Pushing boundaries and taking risks during adolescence is common, but for some the behavior becomes maladaptive.
Emerging research is now illuminating the source of this behavior providing insights that will be helpful in reducing unsafe teen conduct.
In a new issue, Florida State neuroscientist Pradeep Bhide, Ph.D., brought together some of the world’s foremost researchers in a quest to explain why teenagers — boys, in particular — often behave erratically.
The result is a series of 19 studies that approached the question from multiple scientific domains, including psychology, neurochemistry, brain imaging, clinical neuroscience, and neurobiology.
The studies are published in a special volume of Developmental Neuroscience, “Teenage Brains: Think Different?”
“Psychologists, psychiatrists, educators, neuroscientists, criminal justice professionals, and parents are engaged in a daily struggle to understand and solve the enigma of teenage risky behaviors,” Bhide said.
“Such behaviors impact not only the teenagers who obviously put themselves at serious and lasting risk but also families and societies in general.
“The emotional and economic burdens of such behaviors are quite huge. The research described in this book offers clues to what may cause such maladaptive behaviors and how one may be able to devise methods of countering, avoiding, or modifying these behaviors.”
Researchers provide new insights about the inner workings of a teenage boy’s brain:
“The new studies illustrate the neurobiological basis of some of the more unusual but well-known behaviors exhibited by our teenagers,” Bhide said.
“Stress, hormonal changes, complexities of psychosocial environment, and peer-pressure all contribute to the challenges of assimilation faced by teenagers.
“These studies attempt to isolate, examine, and understand some of these potential causes of a teenager’s complex conundrum. The research sheds light on how we may be able to better interact with teenagers at home or outside the home, how to design educational strategies and how best to treat or modify a teenager’s maladaptive behavior.”
Source: Newswise/Florida State