A lot of parents don’t realize why their adolescents occasionally behave in an impulsive, irrational, or dangerous way. At times, it appears like teenagers do not think things through or fully consider the implications of their actions. Adolescents differ from adults in the way they behave, solve problems, and make decisions. There’s a biological explanation for this difference. Studies show that brains continue to mature and develop through childhood and adolescence and well into early adulthood. Scientists have identified a specific region of the brain called the amygdala that’s accountable for immediate reactions including fear and aggressive behavior. This region develops early.
Nevertheless, the frontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls reasoning and helps us think before we act, develops later. This part of the brain is still changing and maturing well into adulthood. Other changes in the brain during adolescence include a rapid rise in the connections between the brain cells and making the brain pathways more efficient. Nerve cells develop myelin, an insulating layer that can help cells communicate. Each one of these changes are crucial for the development of coordinated thought, action, and behavior. Changing brain means that Adolescents Act Differently From Adults Images of the brain in action show that adolescents brains work differently than adults when they make decisions or solve problems. Their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex. Research has also demonstrated that exposure to drugs and alcohol throughout the teenager years can change or delay these developments. Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more prone to! act on impulse misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions get into accidents of all kinds become involved with fights engage in dangerous behaviour Adolescents are less inclined to! think before they act pause to contemplate the implications of their actions change their dangerous or inappropriate behaviours These brain differences do not mean that young people cannot make good decisions or tell the distinction between right and wrong.