May 11, 2021
How do adolescents learn to make healthy choices? When does the desire for status and respect most influence the teenage brain? The answers are evolving as neuroscientists learn more about what drives human behavior. Lydia Denworth, a contributing editor to Scientific American and an EWA Reporting Fellow, explains why some researchers advocate for viewing adolescence not as a “dark and stormy” time but as a window of opportunity for young people to develop habits and behaviors that will serve them well into adulthood. How might this reframing apply to how education reporters approach their stories on youths? What’s known about the pandemic's impact on adolescent friendships? And how might understanding these issues lead to richer, more nuanced stories?