Cover image for The teenage brain : a neuroscientist's survival guide to raising adolescents and young adults
The teenage brain : a neuroscientist's survival guide to raising adolescents and young adults
Jensen, Frances E., author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Physical Description:
xvii, 358 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"Jensen [examines] the brains of teenagers, dispelling myths and offering practical advice for teens, parents, and teachers"--
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Audubon Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clarence Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
City of Tonawanda Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
West Seneca Library QP363.5 .J46 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Drawing on her research, knowledge, and clinical experience, internationally respected neurologist and mother of two boys Frances E. Jensen, MD, offers a revolutionary look at the adolescent brain, providing remarkable insights that translate into practical advice both for parents and teenagers. Driven by the assumption that brain growth was almost complete by the time a child reached puberty, scientists believed for many years that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, neurology and neuroscience have revealed that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development. Motivated by her experience of parenting two teenagers, renowned neurologist Frances E. Jensen, MD, gathers what we've discovered about adolescent brain functioning and wiring, and in this groundbreaking, accessible book, explains how these eye-opening findings not only dispel commonly held myths about teens but also yield practical suggestions for adults and teenagers negotiating the mysterious and magical world of adolescent biology. Interweaving clear summary and analysis of research data with anecdotes drawn from her years as a clinician, researcher, and public speaker, Dr. Jensen explores adolescent brain functioning and development in the context of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision making. Examining data connecting substance use to lingering memory issues and, sometimes, a lower adult IQ, The Teenage Brain explains why teenagers are not as resilient to the effects of drugs as we previously thought; reveals how multitasking impacts learning ability and concentration; and examines the consequences of stress on mental health during and beyond adolescence. Rigorous yet accessible, warm yet direct, The Teenage Brain sheds new light on the brains and behaviors of adolescents and young adults, and analyzes this knowledge to share specific ways in which parents, educators, and even the legal system can help them navigate their way more smoothly into adulthood in our ever challenging world.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Neurologist Jensen, a divorced mother of two teenage boys, and science writer Nutt liken the brain of a teen to a brand-new Ferrari: It's primed and pumped, but it hasn't been road tested yet. In other words, it's all revved up but doesn't quite know where to go. Neural plasticity, hormones, and wiring help make the maturing brain of teenagers more powerful and more vulnerable than at virtually any other time in their lives. Some of those vulnerabilities include a predilection for risk taking, a susceptibility to addiction, and an increased chance of mental illness, eating disorders, and suicide. A captivating chapter, The Digital Invasion of the Teenage Brain, calls attention to computer craving and adolescent addiction to the Internet. The authors of this sensible, scientific, and stimulating book advise parents of teens to set limits, stay involved, be cognizant of the emotional needs of their children, and remain positive. Talking to teenagers in a calm, reasoned manner goes a long way. Most importantly, let your teenager know you are there whenever he or she needs advice and help.--Miksanek, Tony Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

When pediatric neurologist Jensen's sons began exhibiting typical teenage behavior-impulsivity, risk-taking, slipping grades, and mood swings-her professional training prompted her to wonder not only "What were they thinking?" but "How were they thinking?" This well-written, accessible work surveys recent research into the adolescent brain, a subject relatively unexplored until just this past decade. The result illuminates the specific ways in which the teen brain differs from that of a child or an adult. As Jensen explains, while hormones cause some changes, teen behavior-even through the college years-is most influenced by the connections between brain areas still under development, including new brain circuitry, chemicals, and neurotransmitters. This period of growth increases both adolescents' capacity for remarkable accomplishments and their vulnerability to stress, drugs, sleep deficit, and environmental changes. Chapter by chapter, Jensen covers essential topics: how teens learn; why they need more sleep; coping with stress; mental illness; the "digital invasion of the teenage brain"; and the biological differences between girls' and boys' brains. Speaking as one parent to another, she offers support and a way for parents to understand and relate to their own soon-to-be-adult offspring. Agent: Wendy Strothman. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. They can't help it-teens are in many ways unable to control impulses, make wise decisions, and understand what they do, explains Jensen (neurology; chair, neurology dept., Univ. of Pennsylvania). It's not willful; it's brain chemistry. By understanding relevant brain science, however, parents can find plans of action to help their kids through all the nuances of life in this fraught period. Jensen, with science writer Nutt, explains how teen brains are still developing and changing; nonscientific readers will find a lot of information here about neurology. Yet Jensen is also a parent and imparts deep concerns about the pressures of raising her two sons. Today's parents should not only "tolerate" their kids' behavior-they can use their teens' emotional outbursts and errors of judgment to help them learn, choose, and "wise up," she explains. Jensen supports later-morning starts for school days (teens need morning sleep) and describes exactly what tobacco, alcohol, pot, and hard drugs do to the brain. While parents should understand and use social media, they must set limits for computer and smartphone use. VERDICT Recommended for readers who enjoyed Laurence Steinberg's Age of Opportunity, this title applies new science to the frustrating dilemma of how to live with teenage kids.-Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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