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Adolescence: A Critical Window to Influence Youth Mental Health

October 3, 2022 | Filed in: Fact Sheet | Brief

Research into cognitive and social development tells us that adolescence is a critical period to influence the mental health of young people. We can help young people not just survive but thrive by exposing them to conditions and experiences that support their developmental needs during these years.

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How Developmental Science Can Help Address Anti-Black Racism During Adolescence

October 2, 2020 | Filed in: Brief

Adolescence—beginning at the onset of puberty (around 10 years old) and ending in our mid-20s—is a key window of opportunity to shape life-long positive trajectories. But for many Black adolescents, racial bias within institutions, wealth and resource inequality, and daily experiences of racism and discrimination create barriers to realizing this opportunity. We believe that a science-based…

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How Developmental Science Can Help Us Address Inequities During Adolescence

September 15, 2020 | Filed in: Brief

Adolescence—beginning at the onset of puberty, around 10 years old, and ending in our mid-20s—is a key window of opportunity for shaping positive trajectories that can last a lifetime. During adolescence, our developing brains are learning and adapting in ways that naturally take advantage of supportive relationships, environments, and experiences for growth and development. Unfortunately, the…

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The Science Behind Adolescent Risk Taking and Exploration

December 20, 2019 | Filed in: Brief

It’s not only normal for adolescents to take risks and try new things, it’s an essential part of learning during these years. Being able and willing to take risks is a part of our natural tendency to explore new things in adolescence—in ways that help us discover who we are, expand our skills, and ultimately leave the safe nest of home. Recent research on adolescent risk taking helps us…

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Thinking “Developmentally”

August 29, 2019 | Filed in: Brief

It’s important to keep a developmental perspective when talking about adolescence. Here’s a brief summary of what it means to think developmentally. At the UCLA Center for the Developing Adolescent, we believe it is important to think developmentally about adolescence. Thinking developmentally means recognizing that adolescence is a time of unique capacities, motivations, and contexts,…

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