ERIC Number: EJ867920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 20
Positive Youth Cultures and the Developing Brain
Laursen, Erik K.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v18 n2 p8-11 2009
The maturation of the adolescent brain is focused on two tasks: developing autonomy and understanding self in context of the community. Therefore, parents and other adults must assure that young people have multiple opportunities to interact in supportive environments where they can develop the capacity to self-regulate and achieve autonomy. Without self-control the adolescent may react impulsively to new and challenging situations "that usually lead to inappropriate actions and failure to realize goals." Secondly, the adolescent must be exposed to multiple opportunities to cooperate with others and develop a sense of community including respect and helping others. The maturing adolescent brain requires ample opportunities to face challenges, problem solve, and carry out decisions. These are all processes that are parallel to basic assumptions of democracy including the protection of human rights, a free press, a judicial system, free and fair elections, and majority rule. Thus, purposeful design and implementation of positive youth cultures support both the brain's maturation and preparing young people to live and participate in a democratic society.
Descriptors: Democracy, Elections, Youth, Brain, Cognitive Development, Personal Autonomy, Self Control, Adolescents, Conceptual Tempo, Maturity (Individuals), Problem Solving, Decision Making, Civil Rights, Cooperation, Interpersonal Relationship, Citizen Participation, Environmental Influences
Reclaiming Children and Youth. PO Box 57 104 N Main Street, Lennox, SD 57039. Tel: 605-647-2532; Fax: 605-647-5212; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.reclaiming.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A