The Teenage Brain
A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults
Frances E. Jensen M.D. with Amy Ellis Nutt
Opinion in short:
A must-read book for brain info junkies. Not for those looking for practical “how to” solutions. Technical and accessible. A definite for those working with troubled young people – or those parents who want more info on the inner-workings of the teen/s they love!
- This is a very interesting book for people with a fascination about the detailed working of the teenage brain. Packed full of really interesting neurological stuff!
- Different areas of the brain are covered in some detail but without the inaccessible medical language that makes some books unreadable to the lay person. Clear and well written.
- There is a logical order to the book which reads like a natural progression of chapters, each leading to the next.
- There are chapters specific to certain issues that teenagers face – like use of alcohol and drug use – these are enlightening (I’ll go back and look at these again in more depth as the need arises)!
- A detailed analysis of the interface between brain science and the criminal justice system is given, raising ethical questions for sentencing (U.S. context).
- Despite the thorough nature of the content from a scientific and medical point of view, there is precious little by way of practical help. It’s less of a survival guide (see the subtitle) and more of a reference/information guide to the workings of the brain itself.
- The book is written by an American so this needs to be born in mind as the illustrations, historical references and criminal justice system referred to are all U.S. focussed.
- Many of the examples are of high-flying young people – phrases like “star student,” “Grade “A” pupil” and “Harvard student” abound and dilute the impact of otherwise useful illustrations.
- There are woeful inaccuracies about the U.K. educational system. The most glaring of which is the belief that the 11-plus exam still determines the secondary education of U.K. children.
- No treatment of the impact of developmental trauma on development.
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