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Navigating the Teen Years: Travel Inside the Adolescent Brain

Navigating the Teen Years: Travel Inside the Adolescent Brain

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Navigating the Teen Years: Travel Inside the Adolescent Brain

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  1. Navigating the Teen Years:Travel Inside the Adolescent Brain Ken Winters, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry University of Minnesota winte001@umn.edu Drug Free Communities – Waukesha County Waukesha, WI September 26, 2013

  2. Teen • Brain Development • Resources & • Summary • Brain development • and early drug use • Keys to • Parenting

  3. Teen • Brain Development

  4. Adolescence is a period of profound brain maturation. • We thought brain development was complete by adolescence • We now know… maturation is not complete until about age 25!!!

  5. Important ages of majority and privileges 16 - emancipation - driving 18 - gambling (usually age 21 when alcohol served) - smoking (some at age 19 - military 21 -drinking

  6. An Immature Brain = More Accelerator, Less Brakes

  7. Maturation Occurs from Back to Front of the Brain Images of Brain Development in Healthy Youth (Ages 5 – 20) Blue represents maturing of brain areas Source: PHAS USA 2004 May 25; 101(21): 8174-8179. Epub 2004 May 17.

  8. Volume Adolescence Metabolism Myelination Blood Flow Receptors Synaptic Refinement Brain Development RATE OF CHANGE 7 1 2 16 30 Post-birth Age Prenatal Tapert & Schweinsburg (2005)

  9. Implications of Brain Development for Adolescent Behavior • Preference for …. • physical activity • high excitement and rewarding activities • activities with peers that trigger high intensity/arousal • novelty • Less than optimal.. • control of emotional arousal • consideration of negative conseq. • Greater tendency to… • be attentive to social information • take risks and show impulsiveness

  10. Implications of Brain Development for Adolescent Behavior reward incentives > perception of consequences

  11. Teen • Brain Development • Brain development • and early drug use

  12. The teen brain may be more sensitive to the acute effects of drugs on the dopamine system

  13. Prevalence of Past-Year DSM-IV Alcohol Dependence: United States, 2001-2002(Grant, B.F., et al., Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 74, 223-234, 2004) %

  14. Hippocampus Encodes new info Left smaller in AUD teens (p<.01) But no relationship with cognitive functioning (due to less severe alcohol group than Brown et al. sample?) hippocampus MRI: Hippocampal Size 10% smaller volume Nagel, Schweinsburg, Pham, & Tapert, 2005

  15. 2013 US Marijuana Laws by State

  16. What’s Affected by Marijuana?

  17. Prevalence of Past Year Serious Mental Illness Among Lifetime Marijuana Users Aged 18+(SAMHSA, 2005; data collected 2002-2003) percentages age of marijuana onset

  18. Significant drop in IQ for early and chronic users Meier et al., 2012; PNAS

  19. Allstate ad, NY Times, May, 2007

  20. Driving a car with a distracted and inexperienced teenager behind the wheel

  21. Impact of Peer Presence onRisky Driving in Simulated Context peer effect Chein et al., in press

  22. Teen • Brain Development • Brain development • and early drug use • Keys to • Parenting

  23. Striking the RightBalance • MONITORING • + - • + • SUPPORT • - < desired desired < desired worse

  24. Effective Parenting Component #4: Monitoring and Supervision

  25. Key Protective Factors that Improve the Likelihood of a Drug-Free Child • Many opportunities for conventional involvement, positive family involvement • Good impulse control • Follows rules and avoids delinquent peers • Negative attitudes toward drugs • Low availability of drugs • High commitment to school • High perceived risk of drug use • Rewarded for involvement in conventional activities • Family attitudes do not favor drug use • Family is close

  26. Which ones are the easiest for a parent to influence? Toughest? • Many opportunities for conventional involvement, positive family involvement • Good impulse control • Follows rules and avoids delinquent peers • Negative attitudes toward drugs • Low availability of drugs • High commitment to school • High perceived risk of drug use • Rewarded for involvement in conventional activities • Family attitudes do not favor drug use • Family is close

  27. Take Home for Parents Promote activities that capitalize on the strengths of the developing brain Assist your child with challenges that require planning Reinforce their seeking advice from you and other adults Encourage lifestyle that promotes healthy brain development Never underestimate drug effects on developing brain Tolerate “oops” behaviors common during the teens

  28. Teen • Brain Development • Resources & • Summary • Brain development • and early drug use • Keys to • Parenting

  29. 1. Prevention Smart Parentswww. prevention-smart.org

  30. 2. The Partnership www.drugfree.org Helps parents prevent,intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children

  31. www.drugfree.org/teenbrain

  32. Summary • Adolescence is an extended period of transition from reliance on adults to independence • Normal adolescence is characterized by…. • increase in conflicts with family members • desire to be with one’s friends • resistance to messages from authority • irritability • proclamations of sheer boredom • risk taking • reward incentive-biased decision making

  33. Summary • The brain undergoes a considerable amount of development during the teen years. • The last area to mature is the prefrontal cortex region; involved in planning, decision making and impulse control. Gray Matter Maturation, Age 4-21 Gogtay et al., 2004

  34. Summary Gray Matter Maturation, Age 4-21 Gogtay et al., 2004 reward incentives > perception of consequences

  35. Stay involved as a parent

  36. THANK YOU!winte001@umn.edu