"The Myth of the Teen Brain"

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by visceral_instinct, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    This is interesting. I've always suspected this. The theory of how all teens are monsters because their brains are developing always did seem overblown and oversimplified to me. (Please ignore that it's a Christian site... I was looking for information on his theory and the interview was there, so..)

    What do you think?
     
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  3. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    It's certainty true that there are usually accurate points on both sides of any issue (and sometimes there are more than two sides).

    He has his points - peer pressure and spending too much time with other teens is obviously distracting and can be an obstacle to learning AND maturing properly.

    But home schooling isn't the great panacea he makes it out to be. First, they need SOME interaction with others their age AND the number of qualified parents (even assuming they have the time needed) to teach at a junior high or high school level are FAR too few! Just consider three important areas of study - history, math and general science. How many parents do you think actually know enough about history in order to teach it properly. And how many parents can even do simple algebra and explain it? The lack of scientific knowledge on the part of the average parents should be self-evident.

    Despite his claims of teens' mental maturity, practically all good parents know far differently. Certainty there are exceptions - like the ones mentioned in the article - but they are just that: exceptions. The average teen has little sense of their own mortality as has been demonstrated millions of times over by their poor driving records. Most of them think they can take any chance and get away with it - far too many of them die because they misunderstood the risks.

    And that same lack of experience and immaturity extends into every other facet of their young lives as well.
     
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  5. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    I scanned four of the pages. I never saw the author say that teen brains are not developing brains or that teens might not have unique issues do to hormones and inexperience that adults don't have to deal with.

    I agree with the basic premise that teens can function as adults if you treat them like adults and raise them well. I have met mature 10 year olds who are more capable of functioning as adults than many immature 60 year olds. I also agree that having teens socialize exclusively with other teens rather than having adults (not parents) socialize with teens leads to more irresponsible behavior by teens than if they spent more time with adults other than their parents. Of course those adults should be quality adults and not the 29 year drug dealer down the street.

    The Adults that could help teens mature faster and reach their potential should not be parents because parents tend to relate to their children as if they are children rather than young adults.
     
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  7. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    He's not trying to argue that teens don't commonly act like immature idiots; his point is that the immature idiocy commonly observed in teens is mostly caused by our culture and how they are treated, rather than some fundamental "problem" with their brains.
    There is a lot of interesting emerging data from states that have raised their age requirements for drivers licenses indicating that the high crash rates among teens have more to do with simple lack of practice driving than age. In california, for example, when they raised the licensing age from 16 to 17 the crash rates for 17-year-olds went up to that previously seen in 16-year-olds, the rate for 18-year-olds went up to the old rate for 17, etc. It appears that (in california at least) the crash rate has a lot more to do with how many years of driving experience people have, regardless of age. I'll have to dig around and see if I can find the study on it...
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  8. John99 Banned Banned

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    The majority of teens are naturally immature, there are exceptions but they are would be consciously acting mature. When people get older they lose that luxury and life experiences make things less amusing.
     
  9. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Well, this guy is arguing that they aren't really "naturally" immature, but rather are immature mostly because of social factors. I don't know if he's correct or not, the article didn't exactly have any scientific data...
     
  10. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Which I agreed with for the most part. It's because they spend too much time with other teens - and make an effort to "fit in" which usually involves doing so at the lowest common level. the one in the group that are more mature generally catch flack from the rest - and that is detrimental to their proper development. ( I know from personal experience - I had difficulty finding those who were as mature as I was during my school years. Their primary interests centered on girls, drugs and cars.)
     
  11. mordea Registered Senior Member

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    Even if this were true, one can easily interact with children their own age if home-schooled. In fact, I've never known a home-schooled child who did not interact with their peers at some level.

    So now you need qualifications? Children can teach themselves from books, audiovisual, and the internet. So I don't see why a devoted parent couldn't do the same in order to explain difficult concepts to their children. If they are stumped by a particular concept that the parent can't explain, then it's not a big deal to hire a tutor.

    That strikes me as a rather condescending and unsupported assumption. And even if parents don't know so much about these areas, there is nothing preventing them from doing so.

    Teens are treated like children, therefore they act like children. If adults were continually scrutinised, judged, and criticised over the tiniest indiscretion, they would likely act in an 'immature' fashion. Hell, just look at married couples. I rest my case.


    And a middle-aged adult does? I've known seventy years olds who take insane risks with little regard for their health. Pretty much every human beng has little sense of their own mortality. We don't think about our impending death, and for good reason. It's no use obsessing over something we can't change.

    Maybe teens have poor driving records because they are thrown into the deep end with very little experience. It's hardly a surprise that someone with 20 years experience has a better driving record than someone with 1 year of experience.

    Do you have any scientific data to support that ageist stereotype?
     
  12. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Most of what you posted was just opinionated thoughts. As to your final question, do you actually doubt the large numbers of teens who die each year because they didn't understand the risks of driving? And what about drug use? Do I really need to dig up the statistics for you?????
     
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    To be fair, at age 70 it's probably considerably less insane to do risky things...
     
  14. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    It is sooo true. I remember my freshman year of high school, where a few of my peers had begged their parents to let them go to school like normal kids. They were all social degenerates. Limited social interaction with peers makes you weird. Plus the author said teens should not interact with their peers, that includes more than just school time. He says teens should hang out with adults all of the time. Which even for me now as a young adult sounds like a total snooze fest.
     
  15. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Teens have brains??? hmmm, I wonder if my son's is under his bed or in his dirty clothes basket.
     
  16. mordea Registered Senior Member

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    Most of what you posted were just opinionated thoughts, mixed with assumptions and stereotypes, and I simply exposed them as such while offering up plausible alternative explainations. However, I did not champion these alternatives explainations as fact.

    Yes.

    What about it?
     
  17. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    You are so out of touch with reality that I'm not going to waste any effort on you.

    Good luck in your ignorant condition - and do them a favor by not having any kids.
     
  18. mordea Registered Senior Member

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    lol.
     
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The average adult never uses most of the material he learned in high school once he's finished college. By age 30 he's forgotten much of it. I'm a more compulsive scholar than most Americans and I can't name the capitals of all the states or tell you how many amendments there are to the Constitution. I can tutor math, science, English and Spanish, but not history.
    As a former professional risk analyst and manager I always take exception to that description of the problem. It's usually stated as a problem in risk analysis: they don't understand the probability of a fatal crash. I say it's a problem in risk management: they understand it reasonably well, but they think the value of the reward (showing off for their friends or just plain fun) justifies the risk. Most adult women and most men over 40 don't get much of a thrill out of racetrack-style driving on public roads so they see it as just plain foolish. Teenagers get a big rush out of it: endorphins galore! Without understanding the mental environment of a teenager, what excites them and what doesn't, it's impossible to communicate with them about responsiblity.

    Add to this the fact that a great many American teenagers feel utterly despondent about their future and even their present, and the risk analysis calculation becomes even more difficult for an adult to understand. They just don't value their lives the way we do, so risking them is no big deal! American teenagers place as much value on their own lives as most American adults place on the lives of Muslims in the Mideast: a pittance to sacrifice for a worthy cause. Does that maybe make it a little clearer?
    Exactly the same thing. If you see your life as an endless stretch of despair and your future is going to be even worse, why not risk something that worthless in order to get a few endorphins and feel genuinely good for a while?
    * * * * NOTE FROM A MODERATOR * * * *

    Please keep the discourse civil. Those statements are pure personal insults. They also stall the forward motion of the discussion and are calculated to evoke an angry response: a textbook definition of "trolling."

    Those are violations of TWO forum rules. Please dial it back, okay? I'm sure you're articulate enough to make your point while saying something substantive.
     
  20. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Point taken and understood, Fraggle. You are correct - I let my distaste for unjustified statements override my good sense. Sorry. Let me note, though, that it most certainly was not intended to "evoke an angry response" NOR as trolling. It was momentary lapse of judgment and I shall endeavor to never do it again.

    And once again, very sorry.
     
  21. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    He says this:
    which amounts to handwaving away studies such as this:

    http://www.crosswalk.com/homeschool/11551480/
     
  22. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you very much! That's exactly the kind of evidence needed to write that particular doctor off as ignoring critical data in order to advance his personal agenda.

    It should also serve to close down most of the dissenting voices here who have disagreed with what I've been saying all along. That being that there most certainly IS a difference in the 'wiring' of the teen brain vs the adult stage.
     
  23. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    In my experience, limited socializing with other teens doesn't make you weird - it makes you SANE.

    I found other kids my age insufferable a lot of the time. They were so narrow minded and stuck on things that didn't matter. There was this code that said to be cool you had to hang out at a certain cafe, drink alcohol, kiss as many boys as possible, and use only a certain set of slang words. I couldn't remotely relate. The friends I did have were all much older than me.
     

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