Teenage brains are still developing

Along the same lines as the Business Advisory Council’s work on later school start times: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, has released recent research on the myriad changes that take place in the teenage brain.

Until recently, the belief was that teen brains were pretty much developed, and little change was taking place. It turns out this is not true – there are many changes still taking place, and these changes can have a significant impact on teen health and performance.

The first, as outlined in the article linked above on school start times, is their sleep patterns change. This can affect physical health, emotional states, and overall happiness and performance. Other changes are teens may be more self-conscious; highly subject to peer pressure; and more likely to take risks. This is also a time when many mental illnesses first make themselves known.

All this has implications for school, social media, and friend groups. This article by NPR shares more detail.

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