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Adolescent Brains

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Below are resources hand selected by me. Please enjoy my absolute favorite content.




The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Dr. Francis Jensen (2015)

Presents groundbreaking newer research on adolescent brain functioning and development in the context of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, substance use, screen use, and decision-making.

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Dr. Dan Siegel (2015) 
Draws on new research in interpersonal neurobiology to explain what is often seen as "crazy teen behavior."  Siegel explores the risks and awesome opportunities this period of brain growth brings, and shows parents how to turn one of the most challenging developmental periods in their children’s lives into one of the most rewarding. Provides instruction for parents to do some of their own personal work and for coaching teens on tasks to help them develop their brains. 

Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence by Laurence Steinberg (2014)

Lays out newer research on adolescent brains and development along with giving us guidance on how to use this info to raise and teach our adolescents. The science is broken down in a digestible way for the average parent. While making sense of what can be challenging about this period he encourages us to frame it as an exciting age of opportunity versus something to just "survive." 

Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (2018)

A great book for someone "sciency" that already has some foundation and interest in the topic of adolescent neuroscience. She Similar to "Teenage Brain," while also stressing a seeking to understand vs demonize our teenagers.  


Dan Seigel: The Adolescent Brain Animated - 3:30 mins

A brief awesome adolescent-friendly summary of the risks and gifts of their developing brains.

Dan Siegel: The Teenage Brain - 14 mins 

Dan Siegel: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain - 1:22 mins 

Extended live presentation about his book Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (see above) 

The Sci Show: The Teenage Brain Explained - 10 mins

From the popular humorous teen-friendly web series. 

Why Are Teens So Moody?  - 4 mins 

A quick teen-friendly explanation of why the developing brain results in mood swings and increased risk-taking. 

PBS Frontline: Inside the Teenage Brain  - 53 mins 

Companion website for above episode has great additional info on adolescent brains. 


The Mysterious Workings of the Teenage Brain (Tedx) - 14 mins 

Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore shows us how typically "teenage" behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain.

Teen Brains Prone to Risky Behavior - 3 mins

"CBS This Morning" Interview w/author Lisa Damour.

Mind Your Teens: Film Series About the Teenage Brain - 7-9 mins each 

Series of five short videos on: Sleep, Friends & Family, Reward, Emotions & Learning. 

Communication and the Teenage Brain (Tedx) - 12 mins 

Researcher Martyn Richards helps us understand how some of the more crazy-making adolescent behaviors are brain-based. 


Insight Into the Teenage Brain (TedxYouth) - 10 mins

UCLA Director of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory, Adriana Galvan, teaches teens about their developing brains. 

The Teenage Brain - 55 mins

Adolescent neuroscientist Abby Baird talk with actress Lisa Kudrow in a great relaxed and rich Q & A about adolescent brain development and behavior. 


Dude, Where's My Frontal Cortex?

Why Some Teen Brains May Be Hardwired To Make Risky Choices (NPR)

Why Teens are More Prone to Addiction, Mental Illness

Dopamine and the Teenage Brain

Why Teenagers Act Crazy (NY TImes)

Inside the Tweener's Brain

Teenage Brains (National Geographic) 


NPR Fresh Air w/Dr. Frances Jensen: Why Teens are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone and Should Protect their Brains - 38 mins

2015 interview with author of The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

NPR Fresh Air: The Science of the Teenage Brain - 48 mins 

2016 follow-up interview with dr. Frances Jensen 


Audible Series: What Were You Thinking? Inside the Adolescent Brain

In this fascinating Audible series,  journalist Temple-Raston explores teen decision-making and ways to guide them towards making responsible choices by sharing the stories of adolescents who made astonishing decisions - including joining ISIS, attempting suicide, online gaming addiction, planning a school shooting and more. She weaves the latest science on adolescent brains through interviews with teens, and their friends and families.

The Advanced Brain Podcast: Brainstorm - The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain 

Dr. Daniel Siegel illuminates how brain development impacts adolescent behavior and relationships from ages 12-24.


Brain Thrive by 25

This FREE online program is absolutely life-shaping! It helps older teens and young adults understand and learn to optimize their developing other words, respect and know how to take care of it. It has been proven to reduce substance use, depression and increase self-esteem.

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