Those Crazy Tweens!

We have all found ourselves wondering why teens do the things that they do. Where do they get such hair-brained ideas and why do they follow through with risky behaviours? Reflecting back on my teenage years, there are definitely a few things that in hindsight I wonder why I thought they were good ideas. But are those years of teenage risk actually necessary? Do we need to always protect our children from taking risks?

New research published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is starting to give a clearer understanding of how the minds of teenagers work and why. Lead author of the study, Agnieszka Tymula, explains: “Relative to adults, adolescents engage more in unknown risks than they do in known risks.” Could this type of engagement in risk-taking behaviour actually be a part of the evolutionary process?

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