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The Connecting Adolescent Brain

May 23, 2024 | Filed in: Fact Sheet

Brain development during adolescence is fundamentally a story of connections. Around age 9 or 10, hormonal changes kick off a period of intense learning and development, when brain cells form, strengthen, and streamline connections in response to our experiences more rapidly than in any period of life after early childhood. Activity increases especially in the brain networks that propel us to…

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March 2024 Research Roundup

March 20, 2024 | Filed in: Guide | Research Roundup

In this issue of our quarterly Research Roundup, we provide an overview of some recent research showcasing the protective role of positive lifestyle factors for mental health, the benefits of continuing contribution, an effective intervention to support positive racial-ethnic identity exploration, synchronized brain activity between parents and youth, and the importance of timing in parental…

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Love in Adolescence 3: A Panel Discussion on What Youth Could Be Learning About Building Healthy Relationships

February 13, 2024 | Filed in: Video

Adolescence is a window of profound social learning–and young people are particularly eager to learn about and from their romantic relationships. But advice from parents, social media, and school-based programs (where they exist) often miss the deeper questions about emotional intimacy. In this webinar, moderator Adriana Galván, Co-Executive Director of UCLA CDA, talks with panelists Thao Ha,…

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5 Facts About Decision Making and Emotional Regulation During Adolescence

February 5, 2024 | Filed in: Fact Sheet

Adolescence is an important window for developing the skills to manage our emotions, control our behavior, and make good decisions. The social and brain development that happens during this period help us tune in to the information we need to master these important skills. But still, like every skill, these require opportunities to practice in real-world situations with room to make and learn from…

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5 Facts About Respect and Social Feedback in Adolescence

January 29, 2024 | Filed in: Fact Sheet

During adolescence, physical and cognitive changes combine with new social contexts in ways that increase our sensitivity to belonging and earning respect from those around us.

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5 Facts About Identity Development in Adolescence

January 18, 2024 | Filed in: Fact Sheet

During adolescence, we form a deeper sense of who we are, what we value, and who we want to be. Healthy development in adolescence involves creating a positive sense of self and belonging, based on our values and aspirations.

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5 Facts About Contributing During Adolescence

January 5, 2024 | Filed in: Fact Sheet

Throughout our adolescent years, we become increasingly capable of contributing to those around us in deeper, more meaningful ways than when we were younger. Opportunities to not only contribute but to reflect on the meaning of our contributions and to have our contributions recognized are important to healthy development during our adolescent years.

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5 Facts About Exploration and Risk Taking in Adolescence

January 5, 2024 | Filed in: Fact Sheet

Taking risks during adolescence is an essential part of learning and healthy development. In our adolescent years, we’re more motivated to explore the world by trying new things in ways that help us discover who we are, expand our skills, and ultimately move beyond the familiarity of home.

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December 2023 Research Roundup

December 19, 2023 | Filed in: Research Roundup

In this issue of our quarterly Research Roundup, we provide an overview of some recent research showcasing the effects of neighborhood environments on adolescent development, the benefits of culturally tailored interventions, the trajectory of executive function development, and links between rumination and neural response to social rejection.

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Cultivating Purpose in Adolescence

October 30, 2023 | Filed in: Council Report

Helping youth develop a sense of purpose–a forward-looking life aim that guides actions and decisions–can build resilience, support mental health, reduce negative risk taking, and provide a sense of direction and motivation. But adolescents do not just find their purpose as if it were an object already assembled. Rather they cultivate their purpose through a process of discovering and actively…

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