Blame the Brain: Teen Brain Development and its Effect on Teen Behavior

I’ve been fortunate to teach “Pain in the Brain,” a class on teen behavior, for YALSA several times, and am always on the lookout for new information on how biology influences (undesirable!) actions. Last week, ‘ U.S. News and World Report followed up on their 1999 article “Inside the Teen Brain” with a feature titled “Deploying the Amazing Power of the Teen Brain” that reports on a ‘ Duke University program designed to empower teens to use their brains. The article covers basic brain changes, other factors for teen behavior and a’ quiz you can take to see how much you know about the adolescent brain.

A little understanding goes a long way in coping with unwanted teen behavior; for example, knowing that teens are more likely to react to your emotion than to your words serves as a reminder to librarians to stay calm, and take stock of your tone of voice and body language, not just what you say, when working with teens — they may be reacting to cues you send out, not to what you say.

About Beth Gallaway

Beth Gallaway was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2006 for her work in advocating for videogames in libraries. She is an independent library trainer/consultant specializing in gaming, technology, and youth services, and is a YALSA certified Serving the Underserved (SUS) trainer.
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