Adolescent mental health and development with Chris Mann and Professor Sarah Jayne Blakemore

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Why do teenagers feel and act the way that they do?

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Chris Mann (BBC Radio Cambridgeshire) discuss how the teenage brain changes and how COVID-19 might be impacting adolescent development and mental health.
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Adolescence is a period of life often characterised by behaviours that can seem irrational, such as excessive risk-taking and impulsivity. However, these behaviours can be interpreted as adaptive and rational, given that a key developmental goal of this period of life is to mature into an independent adult, while navigating an increasingly complex social world.

In adolescence, peer evaluation and peer influence are heightened, social cognitive processes are developing and areas of the social brain undergo reorganisation. As such, adolescence might reflect a sensitive period of social brain development, which is important for adapting to the social environment.
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