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Understanding the Teenage Brain


Teens may think they know it all, but science says otherwise! The rational part of the brain does not fully develop until the age of 25! Adult brains and teen brains operate differently. According to Stanford Children’s Health, adults process information with their prefrontal cortex, which is the brain’s rational part. The teenage brain uses the amygdala, which is the emotional part of the brain. Understanding this may help many parents understand the way their teenagers operate and process what and how they learn.

Did you know that there are significant changes in the teenage brain during their adolescence?

Check out the five key things to understand about the teenage brain:

Teen Brains are Still Growing

The brain completes its growth process during adolescence; however, it does not finish its development! The brain continues to mature into a person’s middle to late ’20s. The prefrontal cortex, which is the front area of the brain, is one of the final parts to mature. The front region is responsible for problem-solving skills, impulse control, and planning. As this area is late to develop, teenagers are far more likely to engage in more risky behaviour without thinking over the potential consequences of their actions.

Teen Brains Are Ready To Learn

According to Harvard University, the adolescent brain is better at learning from experiences and adapting from them. The teenage brain has a significant amount of plasticity, allowing teens to learn, adapt, and change based on their environment.

Mental Health Struggles May Appear During Adolescence

As the brain matures and changes, so do a teenager’s physical, mental and social needs. This can make them much more vulnerable to mental health struggles. In fact, 7 in 10 teens struggle with their mental health.

Teens Require More Sleep Than Both Children and Adults

If your teenager craves more sleep, they likely need it! Psychology Today explains how teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep each night to meet their performance needs each day. Melatonin levels in the blood elevate at nighttime and drop in the morning in teens. That can explain why teenagers tend to stay up later and struggle to wake up in the morning! The teenage brain needs this sleep to process information more effectively!

The Adolescent Brain Is Resilient

The teenage years are challenging and somewhat vulnerable for most. However, they also help most adolescents become more resilient adults. During this period, changes in the brain help protect them against more harmful, long-term mental health disorders in the future.

Help in High School

Is your teenager preparing for high school this fall? Oxford Learning’s High School Tutoring Programs help teens reach their academic performance goals and improve their confidence! Sign up before the fall to ensure an excellent academic year for your teen! 

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