I don't think teenagers are that different from adults in terms of developmental biology.
The prefrontal cortex is one of the last regions of the brain to reach maturation. This delay may help to explain why some adolescents act the way they do. The so-called “executive functions” of the human prefrontal cortex include:
Organizing thoughts and problem solving
Foreseeing and weighing possible consequences of behavior
Considering the future and making predictions
Forming strategies and planning
Ability to balance short-term rewards with long term goals
Shifting/adjusting behavior when situations change
Impulse control and delaying gratification
Modulation of intense emotions
Inhibiting inappropriate behavior and initiating appropriate behavior
Simultaneously considering multiple streams of information when faced with complex and challenging information
This brain region gives an individual the capacity to exercise “good judgment” when presented with difficult life situations. Brain research indicating that brain development is not complete until near the age of 25, refers specifically to the development of the prefrontal cortex.
MRI studies of the brain show that developmental processes tend to occur in the brain in a back to front pattern, explaining why the prefrontal cortex develops last. These studies have also found that teens have less white matter (myelin) in the frontal lobes of their brains when compared to adults, but this amount increases as the teen ages. With more myelin comes the growth of important brain connections, allowing for better flow of information between brain regions.4
This body of brain research data has led to the idea of “frontalization,” whereby the prefrontal cortex gradually becomes able to oversee and regulate the behavioral responses initiated by the more primitive limbic structures.
MRI research has also revealed that during adolescence, white matter increases in the corpus callosum, the bundle of nerve fibers connecting the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This allows for enhanced communication between the hemispheres and enables a full array of analytic and creative strategies to be brought to bear in responding to the complex dilemmas that may arise in a young person’s life. Once again the role of experience is critical in developing the neural connectivity that allows for conscious cognitive control of the emotions and passions of adolescence. Teens who take risks in relatively safe situations exercise the circuitry and develop the skills to “put on the brakes” in more dangerous situations.5
With an immature prefrontal cortex, even if teens understand that something is dangerous, they may still go ahead and engage in the risky behavior. Recognizing the asynchrony of development of the regions of the brain helps us to see adolescent risk-taking in a whole new light. This broadened view of risk-taking and the concept of self-regulation are explored in the next section.
I think it's reasonable to expect tweens+ to understand there are, and will be, consequences to bullying others.
The parents of the kid who did the shooting should be locked up for leaving loaded guns around where their kid could get his hands on it.
Quote:I don't think teenagers are that different from adults in terms of developmental biology.
I think you're wrong.
Mentally the negro is inferior to the white. The remark of F. Manetta, made after a long study of the negro in America, may be taken as generally true of the whole race: " the negro children were sharp, intelligent and full of vivacity, but on approaching the adult period a gradual change set in. The intellect seemed to become clouded, animation giving place to a sort of lethargy, briskness yielding to indolence. We must necessarily suppose that the development of the negro and white proceeds on different lines. [...] [T]he arrest or even deterioration in mental development is no doubt very largely due to the fact that after puberty sexual matters take the first place in the negro's life and thoughts.
And 100 years later we can actually see the brain in action. We can look at the differences between a child's brain and an adult's brain and see the differences.Yay science.
We can look at the differences between a child's brain and an adult's brain and see the differences.
But the implications of those patterns are a matter of interpretation, just as the implications of brain volumes and brain shapes were 100 years ago. And the people who do the work of interpreting today are still the same kind that got it so awfully wrong way back when.
If a 30 year old wants to have sex with a 15 year old are you guys okay with that?
Should a 15 year old be able to drink, smoke, join the military, get married, take out a loan?
And 18 is definitely not hugely different from 15.
join the military,
Quote:American Civil War: The Boys' War
Figure 1.--A HBC reader informs us that the boy in this Civil War portrait is Johnny Clem. He was the drummer for the 22 Michigan Infantry. He went on to become a "lance seargent" on Generals Thomas's staff. Our reader believes he stayed in the Army after the War and retired as a General. Click on the image to learn more about him.
Thousands of children were directly involved in the Civil War. Older boys served as soldiers. Many younger boys were also invoved, some boys as young as 11 years old. The younger boys generlly served as drummer or buggle boys. Commonly the drummer and buggle boys were 13-15 years of age. Both the Confederate and Union soldiers tried to look after the younger boys. In major engagements they were often sent to the rear when charges into fortifications were planned. In some cases they had to be forced to the rear crying. Such a scene is portrayed in the movie Glory. In addition, over 1 million boys of 17 or under served in the Federal Army alone. Beyond the use of very young boys as deummer boys and buggle boys, about 1 million boys 17 years of age and under fought with the Federal Army alone. Almost surely very large numbers of similarly aged boys fpught with the Conderacy, although actual records are less available. So many boys served in both the Federal and Confederate Army that one author has suggested calling the American Civil War the Boys' War.