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Healthcare 2017, 5(4), 62; doi:10.3390/healthcare5040062

Adolescent Neurological Development and Implications for Health and Well-Being

Child Psychology Department, Southampton Children’s Hospital, Mailpoint 133, Block 8, Tremona Rd., Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
Academic Editors: Deborah Christie and Gail Dovey-Pearce
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract

Adolescence is evolution’s solution to bringing the capacity of our large, complex brains to fruition. It is a critical period for brain development and the experiences of each adolescent during this time helps to shape their adult brain. Brain developments lead to both the hormonal changes and the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral characteristics of the teenage years. They drive a growth towards independence via more complex reasoning skills, increased importance of social affiliations outside the family, and an urge to experiment and explore boundaries. In the context of still incomplete inhibitory systems, a heightened sensitivity to rewards, including the need for social acceptance, can mean risk-taking or impulsive behaviour in some. The continued plasticity of the brain can also mean a creativity and openness to novel solutions. These normative steps of adolescence are especially relevant to young people with chronic health conditions. An understanding of brain development at this time can help us appreciate the perspective and priorities of adolescents with health conditions. It can also guide us towards better ways of collaborating with them. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescence; brain development; prefrontal cortex; neurological development; chronic health condition adolescence; brain development; prefrontal cortex; neurological development; chronic health condition
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Griffin, A. Adolescent Neurological Development and Implications for Health and Well-Being. Healthcare 2017, 5, 62.

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