Testing Teenagers and Examining Stress
Anxiety-inducing exams were the focus of a thought-provoking article in The Guardian that featured Dana Alliance member Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University College London and author of Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain.
Of Mindfulness and Incarceration
Spending time in jail or prison can harm a person’s brain functions related to cognitive control and emotional regulation. An intervention combining mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy appears to offset this effect in teenage boys for at least a few months.
Effects of Stress on the Developing Brain
Early-life stress can lead to long-lasting behavioral, mental, and physical consequences. Fortunately, preventive measures can improve health outcomes, and while interventions for those who have already experienced debilitating early-life stress require considerable effort, they remain possible, thanks to the brain’s plasticity. Complementary article to "From Lab Bench to Court Bench."
From Lab Bench to Court BenchUsing Science to Inform Decisions in Juvenile Court
Juvenile court judges are asked to determine what is in the best interest of the child in every case they hear. Until about a decade ago, court decisions were routinely made without taking into consideration the needs of toddlers and infants. The Miami Child Well-Being Court™ (MCWBC) program, a partnership of clinicians and judges, has brought science into the courtroom, making it integral to the decision-making process and working to ensure that the needs of the child are met. Complementary article to "Effects of Stress on the Developing Brain"
Forecasting AggressionToward a New Interdisciplinary Understanding of What Makes Some Troubled Youth Turn Violent
It takes a series of unfortunate circumstances for an adolescent to turn violent. While early exposure to familial violence can play a role, so too can biological influences such as hormone levels and genetic predispositions. The combination of these factors can be deadly. Although genes and other biological causes are difficult to identify and may be impossible to overcome through known therapeutic methods, medical professionals’ intervention techniques can help minimize aggressive behavior related to environmental factors.
The Teen Brain: Primed to Learn, Primed to Take Risks
The changes the brain undergoes during adolescence pave the way to adulthood, priming the young person for life away from home and for finding unrelated mates. But this plasticity also can open the door to poor decision making and risky behavior, writes Jay N. Giedd, a child psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health.