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Key Periods Of Development
- Key periods of development: prenatal, 0-3 years and adolescence
- The unfinished brains of young humans allows them to develop and adapt to whichever environments they are born into
- Brain development continues into young adult life (20+)
- Teenage brains are wired to be impatient and impulsive as the teenage brain develops it becomes more patient and develops the ability to have greater foresight
- As the brain matures and becomes more specialized to carry out more complex functions, it is less capable of reorganizing and adapting
- Adolescence – ↑ emotional reactivity, hypersensitivity, and instability yet a limited ability to regulate such emotional responses (Powers & Casey, 2015)
Key periods of development for our lives. Prenatal, between the ages of 0 and 3 and then the years of adolescence. So, adolescence is the second biggest developmental stage of a young person or of a person’s life that is, as mentioned before, a stage of profound change. Now as human beings we are born unfinished so young people have unfinished brains, if you like. Why? Well for the purpose of adaption and survival. That is; the way that we spend our time is what shapes our brain. So we’re able to develop and adapt to whichever environment or situations we are exposed to or surrounded by. Surprisingly for most, the brain continues to develop in a young adult life and for some of us our brains can still be developing and forming its architecture and its circuits and pruning away pathways and connections that we don’t use right up until the age of 30. So, we’re way in to our adult life.
What’s challenging is that teenage brains are wired to be impatient and impulsive. Adolescents are wired differently to adults. It’s only as they start to develop and go through their developmental fears of adolescence that they start to develop skills to become more patient and have greater foresight to be able to take perspective and see things from someone else’s viewpoint. But when they’re right in the mix during those youth development years, when adolescence is at its peak, they’re not very good at some of that stuff, but as they start to mature or as their brains start to become more mature and become more specialized to carry out more complex functions, they also become less capable of reorganizing and adapting. Which actually tells us that during these adolescent years, is the time where there can be lots of flexibility and learning and change taking place in terms of an adolescent brain. That means that we have the responsibility to get the stuff that we do with them right because these are the years that the most learning is going to take place, and actually once this developmental stage comes to an end, it becomes really difficult for things to be changed or adapted. We know the youth development stage, the youth development phase corresponds with the period of the stage of adolescence and this marks a period of development that has sparked considerable interest especially from the emotional standpoint. So, we said there’s lots of changes take place cognitively, socially, physically but actually from an emotional level there’s been a lot of interest from a research standpoint and an applied perspective standpoint around adolescent development. Developmentally the period of adolescence from an emotional standpoint is accompanied by increased emotional reactivity, hypersensitivity and instability, yet a limited ability to be able to regulate such emotional responses, so at an emotional level the period of adolescence, youth development phase is pretty tough.