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The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's…

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising… (2015)

by Frances E. Jensen

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1524123,576 (3.55)None
"An internationally respected neurologist offers a revolutionary look at the brains of adolescents, providing surprising insights--including why smart kids often do stupid things--and practical advice for adults and teens.In this groundbreaking, accessible book, Dr. Frances E. Jensen, a mother, teacher, researcher, and internationally known expert in neurology, introduces us to the mystery and magic of the teen brain. One of the first books to focus exclusively on the neurological development of adolescents, The Teenage Brain presents new findings, dispels widespread myths, and provides practical suggestions for negotiating this difficult and dynamic life stage for both adults and adolescents.Interweaving easy-to-follow scientific data with anecdotes drawn from her experiences as a parent, clinician, and public speaker, Dr. Jensen explores adolescent brain functioning and development, including learning and memory, and investigates the impact of influences such as drugs, multitasking, sleep, and stress. The Teenage Brain reveals how: Adolescents may not be as resilient to the effects of drugs as we previously thought. Occasional use of marijuana has been shown to cause lingering memory problems, and long-term use can affect later adulthood I.Q. Multi-tasking causes divided attention and can reduce learning ability. Emotionally stressful situations in adolescence can have permanent effects on mental health, and may lead to higher risk for certain neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. Rigorous yet accessible, warm yet direct, The Teenage Brain sheds new light on young adults, and provides practical suggestions for how parents, schools, and even the legal system can better help them during this crucial period"-- "Renowned neurologist Dr. Frances E. Jensen offers a revolutionary look at the brains of teenagers, dispelling myths and offering practical advice for teens, parents, and teachers"--… (more)



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This was a very interesting and easy to read book. I love brain stuff because it is just so interesting but if you have never read anything about the human brain this a great book to start with. Jensen and Nutt make this so accessible, interesting, and informative. They explain terms, tests, and give picture with the information so that the reader can see and understand what they are writing about. This could have been a very difficult read but I think that Nutt helped make it very readable. Jensen has decades of working with children and adolescents to backup her data. Nutt is a writer for Scientific American. The chapters are broken up by the things that teens and young adults could get into that would affect their brains. Reading about what growing up in an environment with smoking or drinking or abuse does to the brain was both interesting and frightening. Seeing the brains of people who had that versus the ones that did not was very eye-opening. If you know anything about brain science you will enjoy this book like I did. The author's also include some history about how children, adolescents, and young adults have been seen by society.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  lrainey | May 25, 2016 |
This should be required reading for anyone who parents or teaches a teenager – and for teenagers themselves to better understand the “science” behind their decision making processes. I like that author is both a neuroscientist who understands brain development, and a parent who has experienced the sometimes perplexing behaviours of teenagers. ( )
  Lindsay_W | Jul 15, 2015 |
The best part about The Teenage Brain is the fact that it shows parents of teenagers that you are not alone. Everything you are experiencing – all of the frustrations, anger, confusion, and general disbelief – are part of parenting teenagers and something millions of other parents have also experienced throughout history. It is this more than anything that reassures and comforts readers with teenagers.

The second-best part of The Teenage Brain is the matter-of-fact method in which Dr. Jensen explains that teenagers are not insane or another species. There is a physiological reason for their infuriating behavior, and she goes into this in understandable detail. While the science does not make getting through the teenage years any easier for parents, at least having a reason for why they do the things they do is helpful.

Another excellent feature of The Teenage Brain is the division of the particular danger areas for teenagers. Dr. Jensen not only goes into details about the physiological and long-term effects of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, and Internet addiction, and so forth, she does so with a plethora of science behind her statements. She does not just reiterate previous findings but uses the most recent studies to prove her point. They include some quite surprising findings about marijuana and Internet addictions that will raise eyebrows and cause parents to rethink their attitudes towards both.

The Teenage Brain is not meant to be a how-to guide for raising teenagers. Rather, Dr. Jensen’s intention is to educate parents on the still-developing brain of teenagers, so that they can understand why teens act the way they do and can focus their attention and efforts on how to best protect their teens from potential dangers. If anything, this empowers parents and provides them with the confidence necessary to survive these tumultuous years. Highly relatable, educational, and entertaining, The Teenage Brain is an excellent source of guidance for those parents with teenagers hoping to arm themselves with as much information as possible. After all, knowledge is power, and in a battle of wills against teenagers, every little bit helps.
  jmchshannon | Jan 8, 2015 |
If you educate, coach, manage, or live with a teenager or young adult, you need to read this book. The reason for much of young people’s behavior that has mystified you will become understandable. Teens and young adults should read this book to better understand and manage themselves. Frances Jensen is a neuroscientist who provides clear and science-backed explanations of teen behavior. She explains how much of that behavior is a result of the brain’s development process during the teenage years. Jensen covers a long list of important topics as they relate to teen development—learning, sleep, risk-taking, smoking, alcohol, drugs, stress, mental illness, use of digital devices, gender differences, sports, crime, and more. Throughout the book, Jensen provides recommendations for interacting with teens more effectively and ways to help them to develop into functional adults. The writing is clear and many examples are provided to illustrate points made. A valuable contribution to the literature on adolescent development written for the lay reader. ( )
  mitchellray | Sep 16, 2014 |
Showing 4 of 4
It’s charming to see good science translate directly into good parenting, whether or not the results can be broadly replicated.
In what amounts to a kind of parental study aid or crib sheet on teenagers, Jensen explains that teens are not an “alien species”; rather, they are a misunderstood one. While they have the same amount of hormones as young adults, they react very differently to them, making their brains capable of remarkable accomplishments, but also so open that they become at risk.
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This book is dedicated to my two sons, Andrew and Will. Watching them grown into young men as they emerged through their teen years has been the joy of my life, and shepherding them through this time was probably the most important job of my life. Together we went on a journey, and as much as I taught them, they taught me. The product is this book, and I hope that it informs not only those people helping to raise adolescents, but also the teenagers themselves.
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