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Adolescent Brain Development

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Presentation on theme: "Adolescent Brain Development"— Presentation transcript:

1 Adolescent Brain Development
Your Trainer: Chuck Marquardt Presented by the California Family Health Council, Inc.

2 Program Objectives At the conclusion of this workshop participants will be able to: Discuss current research on adolescent brain development Describe practical applications of knowledge about adolescent brain and psychosocial development. Demonstrate education and counseling techniques that apply the theory of adolescent development to real life scenarios.

3 Adolescent Development

4 Thought Cycle First Always remember Thoughts Feelings Results Behavior
*Handout in Packet Thought Cycle – Thoughts lead to feelings, we act based on our feelings which is behavior, behavior yields certain results. Thinking about this model helps you to engage your thinking about teens, so that the behavior that you display with the teens that you work with is as positive and affirming as possible. Behavior

5 Adolescent Psychosocial Development
Internal Influences Adolescent Cognitive Development External Influences Adolescent Social Development Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and development. They are growing physically in height and weight. They are also developing secondary sexual characteristics as a result of puberty as we see through the Tanner Stages of physical development. However, there are two developmental areas in particular that we are going to briefly discuss that relate directly to our focus of teen relationship skills - Adolescent Cognitive Development and Adolescent Social Development

6 Internal Influences on Teen Relationships
As we discuss Adolescent Cognitive Development, we will explore this in terms of ‘internal relationship influences’ and how what’s going on inside of teens influences their relationships. Later we will look at external influences and their affect on teen relationships. Adolescent Cognitive Development READ

7 Adolescent Cognitive Development
Recent News about Brain Development Different areas of the brain mature at different rates Area controlling executive functions is the last part of the adolescent brain to mature

8 Adolescent Cognitive Development
Prefrontal cortex regulates: planning setting priorities organizing thoughts suppressing impulses weighing consequences of one’s actions Interestingly, the brain develops from the back (cerebellum) to the front (prefrontal cortex). Therefore, the prefrontal cortex of teens has not fully developed yet, this area is not fully developed until they are in their mid 20’s. This area of the brain regulates abstract thinking, such as planning, setting priorities, organizing thoughts, suppressing impulses, weighing consequences of one’s actions. So, when teens are engaging in planning setting priorities, suppressing impulses, etc., their decision-making is occurring in the emotional centers of the brain, not in the center where abstract thinking takes place. The younger the teen, the more concrete their thinking is. Many young teens don’t have the ability to think abstractly. which affects their ability to analyze how what they do today will affect tomorrow.

9 Adolescent Cognitive Development
Concrete vs. Abstract Thinking How will knowing this affect how you work and talk with teens?

10 Adolescent Cognitive Development
Hormones Increased hormones during puberty contribute to excitability in teens by affecting the brain’s emotional center Hormones also activate the ability for intense feelings in teens How will knowing this affect how you work and talk with teens?

11 Adolescent Cognitive Development
The hormone-brain relationship contributes to increased risk-taking at a time when the center of the brain that puts on the brakes is still under construction. How will knowing this affect how you work and talk with teens? *Handout in Packet For more information about adolescent brain development, there is fascinating article that appeared in Time magazine that goes into more detail, we have provided a copy of it in your packet.

12 External Influences on Teens
We just talked about internal influences and how what’s going on inside of teens influences their relationships. Now we are going to switch reels and look at external influences on teen relationships. We will explore how teens are trying to make sense of their world in light of the what is going on within them developmentally. Adolescent Social Development

13 Adolescent Social Development
Key social developmental task establishment of own identity to separate from the family Put that together with what we just learned about cognitive development

14 Teens sometimes struggling
Drive Towards Autonomy and Self-identity The Need to Separate from Family Immature Brain Development Increased Risk Taking Teens sometimes struggling

15 Adolescent Social Development
Teens are influenced by: Family Peers School Community norms Cultural norms Teens are influenced by personal experiences        Family, peer, school, community and cultural norms influence adolescent social development-the type and quality of the messages about relationships that teens receive as they develop and mature       Personal experiences also influence adolescent social development, i.e. personal history of abusive relationships contributes to the establishment of dysfunctional relationships as the norm for the teen client

16 Relationship Tasks To navigate their world, teens need to develop:
biologically (brain) emotionally (maturity) or socially (self-identity vs. peer pressure)

17 Relationship Tasks Biologic Maturity
Movement from concrete thinking to abstract thinking affects teens’ ability to evaluate how today’s actions will affect tomorrow.

18 Relationship Tasks Emotional maturity:
The ability to navigate power and control dynamics within a relationship.

19 Relationship Tasks Social Maturity
The process of adolescent individuation (separating themselves from parents and family) is a normal developmental task. If this process is rebellious it can contribute to some teens making unhealthy choices about who they associate with.

20 Learning Point #1 Brain development research is reinforcing what program evaluation is already telling us.

21 The Good News: We Know What Can Help – Youth Development!

22 Resiliency Definition The capacity for healthy development and successful learning in spite of challenges. 15 year old Shawn’s definition: “Resiliency is about bouncing back from problems and stuff with power and more smarts.”

23 Core Messages of Resilience Research
Resilience is a capacity all youth have for healthy development and successful learning. What we will explore today is based on the 4 core messages of resilience research. Core Messages of Resilience Research are: #1-Resilience is a capacity all youth have for healthy development and successful learning. (When youth development focused, 70% of at risk teens grow into thriving adults)

24 Core Messages of Resilience Research
Certain personal strengths are associated with healthy development and successful learning. #2-Certain personal strengths are associated with healthy development and successful learning. These personal strengths are -Social Competence-relationship skills; -Autonomy-sense of self/identity; -Problem-Solving skills; -Sense of Purpose and Future

25 Core Messages of Resilience Research
Personal Strengths Social Competence: relationship skills Autonomy: sense of self/identity Problem-Solving Skills Sense of Purpose and Future

26 Core Messages of Resilience Research
Certain characteristics of families, schools, and communities are associated with the development of personal strengths and, in turn, healthy development and successful learning. #3-Certain characteristics of families, schools, and communities are associated with the development of personal strengths and, in turn, healthy development and successful learning. The characteristics that we are talking about are Environmental Protective Factors -Caring Relationships with trusted adults; -High Expectations-you communicate that you believe that youth can and will achieve; and -Opportunities for Participation-create opportunities for youth to be engaged in being of service to others Pull out “Youth in My Life” handout. On the ‘Assets’ side write “Me”. You are an important part of your teens’ environmental protective factors.

27 Core Messages of Resilience Research
Environmental Protective Factors Caring Relationships High Expectations Opportunities for Participation

28 Core Messages of Resilience Research
Changing the life trajectories of children and youth from risk to resilience starts with changing the beliefs of the adults in their families, schools, and communities. #4-Changing the life trajectories of children and youth from risk to resilience starts with changing the beliefs of the adults in their families, schools, and communities. Communicate to youth that they have within them the ability to succeed in life, to be happy and to be proud of themselves

29 Core Messages of Resilience Research
Communicate to Youth their Ability to: Succeed in life To be happy To be proud of themselves

30 Developmental Assets 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents
Source: The more assets, the better Youth Development: strengthening and developing more assets *Handout in Packet Pull out the handout- 40 Developmental Assets and review to show how resiliency can be strengthened in the youth that you serve -Some are inherently resilient, for those that don’t start out as resilient it can be fostered The more of these assets that a teen has, the more they can promote positive behaviors and attitudes, as well as protect youth from high-risk behaviors. For example, on the left of the page we see external assets. You, in your role as a youth service provider, can positively impact external developmental asset numbers 3, 7 and 14 by just doing what you are already doing-provided of course that you are supportive, the teen perceives that you value them, and you are a positive model for responsible behavior. Of course that’s how we interact with our teen clients, right? Pull out Youth in My Life handout-Look at what you wrote about the youth in your life. Based on our discussion of resiliency and developmental assets, Identify the assets that you see in your teen now and list under Assets on your sheet. Identify assets that you think should be developed to help your teen and list under Assets to Develop

31 Resiliency, Youth Development and You
Adults are an essential part of teen’s environmental protective factors Resilience strengths (assets) are critical survival skills Success is seen with Developmental vs. Behavioral program You, as service providers, are an essential part of your teen clients’ environmental protective factors, as outlined in resilience research. Resilience strengths are developmental and are critical survival skills. For example, when working with youth from a developmental perspective vs. a behavioral perspective, we are not attempting to “fix” teen behavior through a 6-week life skills program. Research tells us that those types of programs have short-lived effects. (Kohn, 1997; Keft & Brown, 1998) Research show that program that provide a broad range of issues have a more sustained result.

32 Resiliency, Youth Development and You
Teens express characteristics or skills that they have had a chance to develop LESSON: Help them develop skills How does Brain Development research impact this? Draw on ability to think, even if in concrete terms. EXAMPLE - Theo Use emotional thinking to your advantage. Connect with concrete thinking. Draw on Emotional Capacity.

33 Resiliency, Youth Development and You
The characteristic must be valued and modeled within teen’s community LESSON: Role model the characteristics you want them to develop How does Brain Development research impact this? Draw on ability to think, even if in concrete terms. EXAMPLE – Answering questions about sex – ASK BACK Use emotional thinking to your advantage. If we work with youth from a youth developmental perspective, we understand that when a teen does not express respect or empathy in their relationships, it is not that the teen does not have the drive or capacity to show respect or empathy. In that child’s environment, respect and empathy are not valued and models of respect and empathy are absent. If we truly want youth to develop their propensity to behave with respect and empathy, then we must have people who model respect and empathy and who create a climate in which respect and empathy are the norm. Youth can then practice or develop that characteristic in a supportive environment. This is the youth development approach to prevention and intervention.

34 Resiliency, Youth Development and You
Create a climate where the characteristics that you would like to see developed are the norm, even if only at your site. LESSON: Treat teens and adults with respect and require the same in return Draw on ability to think, even if in concrete terms. Use emotional thinking to your advantage. If we work with youth from a youth developmental perspective, we understand that when a teen does not express respect or empathy in their relationships, it is not that the teen does not have the drive or capacity to show respect or empathy. In that child’s environment, respect and empathy are not valued and models of respect and empathy are absent. If we truly want youth to develop their propensity to behave with respect and empathy, then we must have people who model respect and empathy and who create a climate in which respect and empathy are the norm. Youth can then practice or develop that characteristic in a supportive environment. This is the youth development approach to prevention and intervention.

35 Resiliency, Youth Development and You
LESSON: To build problem solving skills you have to give teens the chance to make real decisions about the things that they care about. What do many teens care most about? Their relationships Other? Likewise, if we want youth to have good problem-solving and decision-making skills, then we must provide them with the opportunities to actively engage in problem solving and to make real and valued decisions about things they care about. In this case, we want to help them develop better intimate relationships, which is something that most teens care about deeply.

36 Resilience Research: In Conclusion
70% of at-risk teens grow into thriving adults 70% of at-risk teens grow into thriving adults. No matter how many obstacles that the most challenged teens face, statistics show that almost all teens go on to live full, successful lives as contributing members of society with jobs and families. The adults that are in the lives of these teens have an important role in helping them achieve this success.

37 ACTIVITY Thinking it Through

38 Thinking it Through ACTIVITY Get into groups of 2
Chuck will assign the roles of Adult and Youth The Youth in this role play is a 14 year old girl who wants to be pregnant. The adult will take the 14 year old through the thought process WITHOUT thinking for them. Report Back!

39 Answering Questions about Sex
ACTIVITY Answering Questions about Sex

40 Thinking it Through ACTIVITY Get into groups of 2
Everyone gets a question care Choose who will be the adult and youth Youth, tell the adult what your age is Youth, ask your adult your question Adult, do your best to answer it. Keep in mind: Demonstrate skills and characteristics you want to role model Ask back – learn what the youth already knows. Value their knowledge. Provide answers in terms that match the youth’s development – concrete or abstract as well as social development.

41 Please complete your Evaluation
Thank You! *Collect completed post-tests and evaluations and give to administrative assistant at the registration table. Please complete your Evaluation


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