Social development in adolescence articles : Social Development

Social development in adolescence articles

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Growth and change are an integral part of adolescence. Studies on the brain during the last decade show that it - along with height, weight and hormones -goes through dramatic changes during the middle school years. While outward changes are easy to see, brain development goes much deeper, but it can go far in explaining how and why your child does what he does.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), there is a surge of production of the brain’s gray matter prior to puberty. Before this finding in 1999, it was thought that the brain overproduced gray matter only until about 18 months of age - after which there was a steady decline as unused brain cells were discarded. We now know that the area of brain growth during adolescence centers on the frontal lobe. This is the control center for “executive functions” such as planning, impulse control and reasoning.

Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at Temple University, and author of The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting. He says that development of the executive functions, along with other changes during the teen years, combine to create important modifications in how the brain functions during adulthood.

During adolescence, there are changes involving the way the brain processes rewards and pleasure. “Rewarding things feel more rewarding, ” explains Steinberg. “This is accompanied by an increase in attentiveness to social rewards and information.”

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Just a guess

by Loku

Lots of young men cannot find employment.
And it feels better if they can pass the day with others in the same situation, as oppossed to dealing with the psychic pain of seeing others who may have a little more going for them.
Finally, men at that age still like to hang out together in large groups. Kind of an extension of what they enjoyed in their late adolescence.
I am also guessing that the original poster is a female -- maybe someone who did not grow up close to brothers went through that "tribal" phase of social development.
... and so she is more likely to see this streetcorner scene as "menacing"

Cambridge University Press The Development of Romantic Relationships in Adolescence (Cambridge Studies in Social and Emotional Development)
Book (Cambridge University Press)