Ask any parent of a teenager about what life is like living with an adolescent and they’ll likely regale you with stories of unpredictable mood swings, risky behaviors, and poor decisions. Despite all the stress and drama involved with adolescence, it’s clear that it is also a time ripe for learning.
“At every developmental stage, whether we are talking about infancy or adolescence, there are challenges and demands we have to successfully meet to adaptively proceed to the next one,” said B.J. Casey, director of the Fundamentals of the Adolescent Brain Laboratory (FABLAB) at Yale University. “So many of these things we see as bad in adolescence aren’t bad, per se — they offer adolescents the ability to learn what they need to in order to grow into healthy, pro-social adults.”