The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

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9780062067845: The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

New York Times Bestseller

Drawing on her research knowledge and clinical experience, internationally respected neurologist—and mother of two boys—Frances E. Jensen, M.D., offers a revolutionary look at the science of the adolescent brain, providing remarkable insights that translate into practical advice for both parents and teenagers.

Driven by the assumption that brain growth was pretty much complete by the time a child began kindergarten, scientists believed for years that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one—only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, the scientific community has learned that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development.

Motivated by her personal experience of parenting two teenage boys, renowned neurologist Dr. Frances E. Jensen gathers what we’ve discovered about adolescent brain functioning, wiring, and capacity and, in this groundbreaking, accessible book, explains how these eye-opening findings not only dispel commonly held myths about the teenage years, but also yield practical suggestions that will help adults and teenagers negotiate the mysterious world of adolescent neurobiology.

Interweaving clear summary and analysis of research data with anecdotes drawn from her years as a parent, clinician, and public speaker, Dr. Jensen explores adolescent brain functioning and development in the contexts of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision-making.

Rigorous yet accessible, warm yet direct, The Teenage Brain sheds new light on the brains—and behaviors—of adolescents and young adults, and analyzes this knowledge to share specific ways in which parents, educators, and even the legal system can help them navigate their way more smoothly into adulthood.

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From the Back Cover:

For many years, scientists believed that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one. Over the last decade, however, neurology and neuroscience have revealed that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development.

Interweaving clear summary and analysis of research data with anecdotes drawn from her years as a clinician, researcher, and public speaker, renowned neurologist Frances E. Jensen, MD, explores adolescent brain functioning and development in the context of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision making.

The Teenage Brain explains how these eye-opening findings not only dispel commonly held myths about teens but also yield practical suggestions for adults and teenagers negotiating the mysterious and magical world of adolescent biology.

“It’s charming to see good science translate directly into good parenting.”—New York Times Book Review

“This well-written, accessible work...offers support and a way for parents to understand and relate to their own soon-to-be-adult offspring.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

Frances E. Jensen, MD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. She was Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Director of Translational Neuroscience and Director of Epilepsy Research at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Senior Neurologist at Boston Children’s and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. She lectures widely about the teen brain at science museums, TEDMED, and high schools.



Amy Ellis Nutt is a science journalist at the Washington Post and the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. Her most recent book is Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family.

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