Science Nation: Teens and Stress
– “Teenagers experience stress as more stressful,” says UCLA psychologist Adriana Galvan, “And if that stress is interfering with their decision making, it’s really important to understand the neuromechanism that’s underlying this connection between high levels of stress and poor decision making.”
In order to understand how stress affects the developing brain, teens are enrolled in experiments and self-monitor their stress, then she conducts evaluations and scans their brains. What she’s found is that the “reward centre” of the brain is more active when they make risky choices, and they make more risky choices than adults do. Stress interferes with the decision making process in an area that is not as developed as it is in an adult brain.
“The next time a teen gets under your skin,” says the video’s narrator, “Try and remember what’s under theirs.”