DEV Speaker: Dr. Ronald Dahl (UC-Berkeley)

Developmental Brown Bag Series

Apr 23, 2015
from 12:10 PM to 01:00 PM

Young 166

The Developmental Science of Adolescence: Windows of Opportunity for Health, Education, Social & Economic Success

Adolescence is a period of dramatic developmental changes—including biological, behavioral, emotional, cognitive and social changes, as well as a multitude of complex interactions across these levels. It begins with a cascade of pubertal hormones that contributes not only to rapid physical growth and the development of reproductive capacity, but also to metabolic changes, the activation of new biological drives and social motivations, changes in sleep and circadian regulation, sexually dimorphic alterations in facial structure, voice, and body characteristics, as well as a wide array of social, behavioural, cognitive, and emotional changes. Adolescence is a period of increased vulnerability for a wide range of behavioral and emotional health problems—including accidents, suicide, homicide, depression, risk-taking and reckless behaviors, alcohol and substance use, eating disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases. It also is a key inflection point in the development of goals, motivations, cognitive abilities, and affect regulation in ways that impact education, careers, and relationships, and have enduring impact across the lifespan. This presentation will focus on the need for a transdiciplinary developmental science approach to advancing our understanding of adolescence—not only to inform early intervention and prevention strategies, but also to provide insights regarding opportunities for promoting positive youth development.

Katie Kennedy
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