The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children poster
‘The teenage years are often referred to as a time of “storm and stress”. For many young people, they are emotionally fuelled years, but adolescence is also a time of unparalleled opportunity for learning and creativity. One vital skill for all teenagers to learn is emotional regulation — the ability to calmly assess and then keep emotions in check. However, one challenge in perfecting this skill lies in the “developmental mismatch” in the teenage brain. During adolescence, the limbic system, which processes emotions, develops more quickly than the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is involved in planning, judgement and emotional control. It’s still only a theory, but the evidence is stacking up that the excitability of the limbic system versus the PFC is responsible for heightened emotional reactivity in adolescents. However, as the PFC matures, its ability to regulate the activity in limbic structures improves. Dr Sarah McKay’s blog post goes into more detail about the brain changes that are happening during adolescence.’ Courtesy of The Neuroscience Academy website.
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