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Changes (and Welcome to the Blog!)

September 16, 2019
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Here at the Center for the Developing Adolescent, we love change. We’re fascinated by the rapid physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes that occur between the start of puberty (around 10 years old) and the start of adulthood (around 20-something years old). We’re inspired by the enormous opportunities these changes present to support young people in developing passions and heartfelt goals that will shape the rest of their lives.

The changes that occur when we’re adolescents represent the second-fastest period of growth in our lifespan after infancy, yet people don’t typically approach adolescence with the same wonder and curiosity they bring to the baby and toddler years.

So we want more changes.

First, we want to change the narrative about adolescence to highlight the opportunities along with the vulnerabilities. Yes, the stakes get higher as young people begin to navigate more of the world on their own. But adolescent brains are remarkably adaptable to the tasks, challenges, and swiftly shifting landscape of this period. Adolescents are finding their way in a very complex world, and they need and deserve our respect and support.

Second, and even more importantly, we want to make sure opportunities, respect, and support are available to all adolescents equitably by changing the systems that serve adolescents—including the education, healthcare, child welfare, and justice systems—to match their unique needs and sensitivities. The right systems and support during these years offer astonishing opportunities to help all adolescents thrive.

Creating this blog is a change we’re making so that the Center can offer real-time insight into the latest news and research about adolescence. We’ll illuminate trending topics on this age range with the science behind the stories and use new research to understand the real-life issues and systems that affect the lives of young people.

And we’ll always be writing with an eye toward promoting positive change for all adolescents.

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