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The Ins and Outs of Adolescent Brain Development

Why do teenagers act the way they do? Some of the reasons for common adolescent behaviors, such as risk-taking and making less-than-wise decisions sometimes, relate back to their brain development. The prefrontal cortex, which controls higher-order thinking abilities, is not fully developed until very late in adolescence. Understanding adolescent brain development and finding ways to help teens develop good decision-making skills are important ways that adults support healthy adolescent brain development. In this introduction to adolescent brain development, we will focus on the development (and under-development) of various parts of the brain, the ways this brain development affects behavior, and ways to support adolescents as they finish the crucial period of brain development.

In this session, you will learn about:
  • The prefrontal cortex and its role in decision-making
  • The timeline of typical adolescent brain development
  • Behaviors that indicate immature brain development in adolescents
  • Strategies adults can use to help adolescents make better decisions
Presenter:
Our presenter is Dr. Diane Bales, Associate Professor and Extension Human Development Specialist in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia, and co-leader and content expert for Better Brains for Babies.

Audience:
This 60-minute webinar is intended for parents, grandparents, foster parents, professionals, and paraprofessionals who work with or care for adolescents, as well as professionals who support families with adolescents.

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