Short Take: The Teenage Brain – Frances E. Jensen with Amy Ellis Nutt

You don’t need me to tell me there’s a lot of publishing on how teens think and how to raise them. What I like about this book is both the neuroscience and the POV—the author is herself the mother of sons and a pediatric neuroscientist. While targeted to parents, I found the recent research in the subpopulation appealing to this general reader.

“They can’t help it–teens are in many ways unable to control impulses, make wise decisions, and understand what they do, explains Jensen….It’s not willful; it’s brain chemistry. By understanding relevant brain science, however, parents can find plans of action to help their kids through all the nuances of life in this fraught period.”
— Library Journal (starred review)

This well-written, accessible work surveys recent research into the adolescent brain, a subject relatively unexplored until just this past decade. The result illuminates the specific ways in which the teen brain differs from that of a child or an adult. As Jensen explains, while hormones cause some changes, teen behavior—even through the college years—is most influenced by the connections between brain areas still under development, including new brain circuitry, chemicals, and neurotransmitters. This period of growth increases both adolescents’ capacity for remarkable accomplishments and their vulnerability to stress, drugs, sleep deficit, and environmental changes.”
Publishers Weekly

“A captivating chapter, ‘The Digital Invasion of the Teenage Brain,’ calls attention to computer craving and adolescent addiction to the Internet.”….[A] sensible, scientific, and stimulating book.”
   — Booklist

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults (9780062067845) by Frances E. Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt. $27.99 hardcover. 1/6/15 on sale.

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