Month: August 2013

Explaining Typical Teen Behavior

Dr. Grace Graham, a privately practicing psychologist based in Texas, focuses much of her professional attention on advocating for youth. Dr. Grace Graham, a court consultant as well as a psychologist, leverages her understanding of children and teens to ensure they receive the necessary care.

Because teenagers frequently act out in ways that seem disrespectful and defiant to adults, much of society views the age group as difficult. Adolescence is indeed difficult, but many who have passed the stage forget that it is most difficult for the teens themselves. During adolescence, the world places many additional pressures on a brain that has not finished developing. The teenage brain lacks the finesse of an adult’s in that the adolescent cannot fully control social impulses and may react to stress with undesirable behaviors or unpredictable ways. In addition, the teenage brain cannot fully understand the implication of risk, so dangerous behaviors may seem less dangerous.

With this developing brain, the teenager must respond to increased social pressures and judgments from peers, as well as a greater workload at school and the responsibilities of extracurricular activities. Adolescents must respond to this demand with a brain that is not only immature but also under the influence of hormones and, frequently, lack of sleep. In addition, as a teen’s brain changes, so does the way he or she processes information. Experts suggest that this may explain the overly emotional and often forgetful behavior of a teenager, whose cognition works differently than it once did.