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The Once and Future Juvenile Brain

The Once and Future Juvenile Brain

(p.189) 9 The Once and Future Juvenile Brain
Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice
Terry A. Maroney
NYU Press

This chapter discusses the “ the decade of the adolescent brain,” which refers to the continued cultural fascination with how science can explain teens' exasperating behavior, including criminal acts. This adolescent brain science came to occupy its current prominence within juvenile justice because of the confluence of three distinct phenomena: the advances in developmental psychology, the development of neuroscience, and the spirited dialogue of legal scholars and scientists over the legal implications of those scientific advances. Progress in developmental psychology put detailed empirical substance on a core tenet of parental experience since time immemorial: teens think and act differently. Advances in neuroscience showed that teen brains are physically changing and acting in ways that appear to dovetail nicely with those processes of behavioral maturation. Increasingly, these insights seemed obviously relevant to law.

Keywords:   adolescent brain, adolescent brain science, developmental psychology, neuroscience, legal scholars

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