ERIC Number: EJ867066
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
Neuromaturation and Adolescent Risk Taking: Why Development Is Not Determinism
Johnson, Sara B.; Sudhinaraset, May; Blum, Robert Wm.
Journal of Adolescent Research, v25 n1 p4-23 2010
In the January 2009 issue of this journal, Males argues that adolescent brain science perpetuates the "myth of adolescent risk taking." He contends that those who study adolescent neuromaturation are biological determinists who ignore the profound social and environmental forces that influence adolescent behavior to further their own agendas. Males mischaracterizes developmental research and misinterprets public health data. This article analyzes his argument and provides a response based on the evidence. There is significant cross-species evidence that adolescence serves an important developmental function on the road to full maturation and is not merely an oppressive social construction. Research on neuromaturation can help elucidate both the vulnerabilities and tremendous potential of the adolescent brain. It also provides the opportunity to examine the role of social environments in shaping developmental processes and to explore how reasoned understandings of adolescent brain and biological development are being used to inform interventions that scaffold adolescent vulnerabilities.
Descriptors: Adolescents, Brain, Males, Developmental Stages, At Risk Persons, Health Behavior, Misconceptions, Social Influences, Environmental Influences, Social Environment, Biology, Intervention, Poverty, Ethnicity, Racial Differences, Maturity (Individuals), Context Effect, Public Policy, Drinking, Federal Legislation
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A