Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adolescent brain development & preventing risky behaviors

"OMG, What R They Thinking?: The Adolescent Brain: Risk Assessment and Decision-Making" was the topic of the August 15 Grand Rounds at Seattle Children's Hospital.  Dr. Douglas Diekema discussed the newest research about brain development and what it means for approaches to guiding teen decision-making and injury prevention.

Dr. Diekema provided examples of how peer pressure and just being with friends influences the social-emotional part of the teenage brain to the extent that the rational part, which understands the consequences of participating in risky behaviors, is overruled.   Therefore, it is important for teenagers to be in a larger environment that supports healthy and safe decisions.  Laws that decrease access to things (guns, alcohol, drugs) or situations (driving with friends) associated with unhealthy risk-taking are important.  These kinds of laws are consistent with what we know about the teenage brain.

No comments: