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Teen Brain Development Presentation

Training for KCLS staff

Rachel McDonald

on 15 November 2015

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Transcript of Teen Brain Development Presentation

Teens: What are They Thinking?
Understanding teen brain development and behavior
Prefrontal Cortex
Library Behavior Continuum
Teens Need Libraries
1) Be calm
2) Instruct: Name the behavior
& set the expectation
3) Warn: Name the consequence
4) Follow through: this may mean a ban or trespass
5) Reflect & Debrief
Recognize some of the important brain development activities that occur during adolescence and how this impacts behavior
Employ developmentally appropriate, compassionate responses to adolescent behavior
Learn ways to support and engage adolescents where they are developmentally
The Developing Brain
Limbic System
Pre-frontal Cortex
Modulation of intense emotions
Organizing thoughts
and problem solving
Understanding other people and their emotions
Considering the future and making predictions

Impulse control and delaying gratification
Foreseeing and weighing possible consequences of behavior
"The adaptive-adolescent story casts the teen less as a rough draft than as an exquisitely sensitive, highly adaptable creature wired almost perfectly for the job of moving from the safety of home into the complicated world outside." National Geographic, Teenage Brains, Oct 2011
Broken Brain?
Presented by: Rachel McDonald & Jennifer Wooten
History of
Brain Research
Risk Taking
Pleasure Seeking
The Brain
Questions about the brain?
Working With Teens
Pleasure Seeking
Risk Taking
Customer Service
Home and school situations may contribute to behavior problems.
Teens may feel safe in acting out around us – we are the trusted adults.
Sometimes, no adults are trusted.
Teens may have different cultural expectations and experiences that may cause them to self-sabotage when it comes to following the rules of conduct.

Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold -- but so does a hard-boiled egg.
Act Now!
Limbic System
Forming strategies and planning

Inhibiting inappropriate behavior and initiating appropriate behavior

"The adolescent brain is not a broken or defective brain!
It is exquisitely forged by the forces of our evolutionary
history to have different features compared to children or adults." Dr. Jay Giedd
By about age 5, the brain is 90% of its adult size.
Fight or Flight
Teens have less white matter (myelin) in the frontal lobes of their brains when compared to adults, but this amount increases as the teen ages. With more myelin comes the growth of important brain connections, allowing for better flow of information between brain regions.
How do you
create a welcoming environment?
Lower levels of dopamine during adolescence
causes teens to seek out experiences
that will give them a dopamine hit.
Dopamine = pleasure/reward
Teens focus on the positive outcomes of a risky situation more than on the negative consequences
All staff (except pages) have the right and responsibility to address behavior issues with teens.

Use it or lose it!
Takeaway tips - handout
Teen Brain Training Bibliocommons List
What would the Pre-Frontal Cortex Do??
Full transcript