What happens in the skull of a young person aged 13 to 17? Lots of things, a priori. Between the development of cognitive abilities, the management of emotions, peer pressure and learning to make decisions, this period of life is not easy.
Teenagers, those little old adults from 13 to 17 years oldsometimes seem irrational to us. They make bad decisions, put themselves in needless danger, and sometimes do not follow any logic. Because if their cognitive capacities (memory, calculation and language) seem to be fully developed, emotional and social skills have not yet reached their final stage. Is this age necessarily a source of discomfort and lack of self-control? Here are some myths and facts about it.
A brain out of control – Myth
Adolescent brains can behave like an adult in certain situations, recalls the site Psychology Today. But the teens seem to be strongly influenced by the emotional context related to the decisions they have to make, unlike adults or children. Studies suggest that the circuits involved in motivation and emotions develop earlier than those in charge of self-control. The links between these different areas are strengthened until they reach full maturity in adulthood.
Peer pressure – Reality
While driving, you come to a red light, which is turning orange. Are you speeding up or slowing down? It turns out that adolescents choose to not taking risks when they are alone, but that they accelerate if observed by their peers. This pressure pushes them to put themselves in danger. Some studies show that adolescents tend to accept the threat rather than avoid it. Which would explain why teenage criminal offenders tend to act in groups, adds Psychology Today.
Adult to 18 years old – Myth
Using various tests, the researchers estimate age of cognitive and emotional maturity around 21-22 years. Adolescents, like adults, are all different and some will have more difficulty adjusting than others, making better decisions, or managing their behaviors and emotions.