Adolescence is a period of growth that is distinct – so just what is going on between the ears of your teenager? New technologies are giving us an unprecendented view of the inner-workings of our brains, so this time on Kids These Days!, we’re talking about how brain development during a child’s teenage years could account for the odd or risky behavior teens can exhibit during this time. Could it just be normal adolescent brain development?
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Adolescent development expert and author, Dr. Laurence Steinberg & UAA’s Dr. John Petraitis join host Shana Sheehy to discuss this week's topic. John Petraitis, Ph.D. has been a social psychologist at UAA for 20 years, having come from a research center in Chicago that focused on attempts to improve the health-related behaviors of people, many of the behaviors being things that start or peak in adolescence, like smoking, substance use and unsafe sex. More recently, he has focused on the potential evolutionary explanations for why adolescent and young males take so much risk, doing research in Alaska's outdoors. Although in his 50's, he describes himself as an incurable adolescent male. Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D. is the Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. Dr. Steinberg is Past-President of the Division of Developmental Psychology of the American Psychological Association and a former President of the Society for Research on Adolescence. One of the world’s leading authorities on psychological development during adolescence, Dr. Steinberg’s research has focused on a range of topics, including adolescent brain development, risk-taking and decision-making, mental health, family relationships, after-school employment, school achievement, and juvenile justice. Dr. Steinberg is the author of more than 300 articles and essays on growth and development during the teenage years, as well as a number of books on adolesence.