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Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence [Format Kindle]

Laurence Steinberg

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Revue de presse

"Simply the best book I have ever read about adolescence, and I say this as both the father of seven and as a scientist who works in this field. With gentle wisdom, Steinberg guides us through truly novel findings on what happens during adolescence and tells us how, as parents and teachers, we should change our ways." — Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph. D., author of Learned Optimism and The Optimistic Child

"Virtually an owner's manual for the parents of teenagers . . . I recommend [You and Your Adolescent] very highly." — New York Times
"[The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting] distills decades of research into a simple guide for moms and dads in the trenches." — Newsweek
"[In The 10 Basic Principles,] Steinberg offers sage advice as well as pragmatic steps to follow, in the hopes that you can learn to become a more mindful parent." — Boston Globe
"Presents a powerful argument for the importance of parents in shaping emotionally healthy children. . . . [The 10 Basic Principles] brims with potent messages . . . Provid[es] useful guidelines for new parents and a valuable refresher course for veterans." — Publishers Weekly

"Simply the best book I have ever read about adolescence, and I say this as both the father of seven and as a scientist who works in this field. With gentle wisdom, Steinberg guides us through truly novel findings on what happens during adolescence and tells us how, as parents and teachers, we should change our ways." — Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph. D., author of Learned Optimism and The Optimistic Child "If you need to understand adolescents—whether your own or anyone else’s—you must read this book. Drawing from cross-cultural studies and the latest research in neuroscience (much of it his own), Laurence Steinberg explains why most of our presumptions about adolescence are dead wrong and reveals the truth about this exciting and unnerving stage of life. Written with warmth, lucidity, and passion, Age of Opportunity will fill parents with relief by demystifying their children. Educators and policy-makers should study it carefully." — Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun "I love this book! Steinberg has blended the latest research with his decades of expertise to give us a bold new view of the perils and promise of adolescence. Using the information and wisdom he provides, you can better support adolescents along their journey. You’ll also be fascinated—and comforted—by a fresh, deep understanding of that journey’s purpose." — Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

"Simply the best book I have ever read about adolescence, and I say this as both the father of seven and as a scientist who works in this field. Steinberg guides us through truly novel findings on what happens during adolescence and tells us how, as parents and teachers, we should change our ways." — Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph. D., author of Learned Optimism and The Optimistic Child


"As a mother of two boys and an educator, I am so grateful Laurence Steinberg has written this amazing book. He not only clearly and elegantly communicates the newest insights into understanding teenagers' brains but also shows how adults can manage ourselves when we get frustrated with teens' behavior." — Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and Masterminds and Wingmen


"If you need to understand adolescents — whether your own or anyone else's — you must read this book. Steinberg explains why most of our presumptions about adolescence are dead wrong and reveals the truth about this exciting and unnerving stage of life. Written with warmth, lucidity, and passion, Age of Opportunity will fill parents with relief by demystifying their children. Educators and policy-makers should study it carefully." — Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun


"I love this book! Steinberg has blended the latest research with his decades of expertise to give us a bold new view of the perils and promise of adolescence." — Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain


"Clear, evidence-based, and solutions-oriented, Age of Opportunity is the roadmap you need whether you already have a teen or young adult, or are preparing for one." — Madeline Levine, Ph.D., author of The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well


"A fascinating and important book. What every parent, teacher and counselor MUST know about the adolescent brain, its vulnerabilities, and its tremendous possibilities." — Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, and author of Mindset


"A masterful summary of what science has recently discovered about adolescence. I learned something new on every page." — Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., MacArthur Fellow and Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania


"This fascinating book gives us cause for concern, cause for hope and cause for celebration. Whether you're a parent or an adolescent yourself, you should read it. There's information in these pages that could change and improve your life." — Peg Tyre, author of The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve


"Steinberg explains how 'abnormal' adolescent behavior is actually 'normal.' This book belongs on the shelf of every parent, teacher, youth worker, counselor, judge — heck, anyone interested in pre-teens and teenagers." — David Walsh, Ph.D., author of Why Do They Act That Way?


"Based on cutting-edge research and the wisdom of a leading authority in the field, this magnificent book will captivate parents, teachers, policy-makers and adolescents themselves." — Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Ph.D., Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College, London

Présentation de l'éditeur

A leading authority draws on new research to explain why the adolescent years are so developmentally crucial, and what we must do to raise happier, more successful kids.

Adolescence now lasts longer than ever before. And as world-renowned expert on adolescent psychology Dr. Laurence Steinberg argues, this makes these years the key period in determining individuals’ life outcomes, demanding that we change the way we parent, educate, and understand young people.

In Age of Opportunity, Steinberg leads readers through a host of new findings — including groundbreaking original research — that reveal what the new timetable of adolescence means for parenting 13-year-olds (who may look more mature than they really are) versus 20-somethings (who may not be floundering even when it looks like they are). He also explains how the plasticity of the adolescent brain, rivaling that of years 0 through 3, suggests new strategies for instilling self-control during the teenage years. Packed with useful knowledge, Age of Opportunity is a sweeping book in the tradition of Reviving Ophelia, and an essential guide for parents and educators of teenagers.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1926 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 277 pages
  • Editeur : Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (9 septembre 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°291.918 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  52 commentaires
65 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Great insights, but derails in the middle - 3.5 stars 25 août 2014
Par Dienne - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
The first third of this book is well worth reading. We get a number of valuable insights into and great perspective on the biological, brain-based reasons (in easily understandable layman’s terms) for the issues and problems that commonly arise in adolescence, an understanding of how adolescence has been lengthening on both ends and why that both is and isn’t a problem. Adolescence, he demonstrates, is a period of great brain plasticity, much like that which is recognized in early childhood when infants through preschoolers are capable of learning and developing quite rapidly. The same capacity for growth exists in adolescence, but it is more of a double-edge sword because adolescence is a time when teens take many more risks, are less likely to be supervised and have much greater potential for encountering harm. The adolescent’s brain changes almost as much as a young child’s, but if that change takes place in a negative environment, negative changes can become encoded in the brain leading to life-long behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems that can, in turn, lead to school and work failure, unintended pregnancy, run-ins with the law and relationship difficulties.

Steinberg explores, through a great deal of research, exactly what the differences are between children, adolescents and adults as far as cognitive and emotional functioning. Contrary to popular belief, he demonstrates that teenagers are able to reason and make judgments about as well as adults when given adequate information and time to process it, so “immaturity” is not a direct result of deficits in judgment or understanding. He also sorts through a number of other commonly accepted “culprits” of adolescent (mis)behavior – impulsivity, self-control, peer-pressure, etc.

What he seems to find is that one of the biggest factors is that adolescents are more primed than either children or adults to respond to rewards. Brain imaging demonstrates that the reward centers of adolescents’ brains “light up” more in response to potential rewards than do either children’s or adults brains. Adolescents have as good ability as adults to judge risks and hazards of a situation or decision, but they are so much more responsive to the potential rewards that they are more likely to disregard the hazards to obtain the reward. This effect is especially heightened in the presence of their peers because adolescents are also very primed to the approval or judgment from their peers, and approval itself becomes a further reward.

Steinberg also explores how adolescence has become longer because it both starts earlier and finishes later than it historically has. He examines current and historical trends in the age of puberty on one end and the age of certain life milestones like marriage or living independently on the other. Due to factors such as improved nutrition, obesity, chemicals found in plastics and other materials, as well as social and societal structure, puberty is occurring much earlier for both girls and boys – sometimes as early as seven or eight for girls. That trend has continued downward for decades now and Steinberg fears the trend will continue. On the other end of the scale, young adults are waiting longer to get married, set up their own households, have children and other typical markers of “adulthood”.

There has been a fair amount of hand-wringing about both ends of this trend. Steinberg demonstrates that such hand-wringing (and more) is warranted in connection with the earlier onset of adolescents. The changes in the brain associated with increased attention to rewards and peer reaction are taking place earlier and earlier with the onset of puberty, but the brain changes associated with executive functions like impulse control still happen around age 16 or later. The time in between Steinberg compares to driving a car with a great accelerator but bad brakes. Young adolescents during this period need strong adult supervision to help them apply external brakes until their internal braking systems come fully on-line. But because of their seeming maturity, many adolescents at this age are allowed too much freedom and may get themselves into nearly irreparable trouble.

On the other end of adolescence, there has been much ink spilled about how “kids these days” are taking longer to “mature”. They live with their parents longer and their parents help them more with financial, social and emotional matters. Steinberg argues that this is actually a good thing. Because these young adults are still in the adolescent stage of great brain plasticity, they are still capable of learning and developing great capacities if they are properly supported such that they have opportunities to experience challenging and novel situations with proper guidance. Adolescents who are not properly supported and supervised may find themselves in situations, such as parenting or incarceration which are more “settled” and routinized which may foreclose on more stimulating experiences such as college or travel which can help the brain continue to grow.

Steinberg talks about how these changes adversely impact those who are already dealt a bad hand in life –poor/low income youth. Children of low income families are less likely to have parental supervision early in their adolescence and, hence, more likely to enter adult life patterns earlier – whether the aforementioned pregnancy or incarceration or simply having to work one or more full time jobs to earn a living. Affluent children, on the other hand, are more likely to be supported and supervised as early adolescents and as older adolescences more likely to have access to experience like college which can give them an even greater advantage over their already-disadvantaged peers.

Up to this point, this book is truly valuable for its insights into brain development and the implications for raising adolescents. But as Steinberg tries to apply a lot of these insights, he goes off the rails, especially in terms of education. Steinberg buys into the current (since 1983) canard raised in the “A Nation At Risk” paper that American schools – and American students – are “failing”. We don’t, according to Steinberg, have enough “highly-educated people” to fill jobs that required higher education (which, I’m sure is news to the hundreds of thousands if not millions of highly experienced people with bachelors’ degrees and higher who are stocking retail shelves, manning cash registers or simply trying to exist on unemployment after their jobs were “downsized”). “A Nation At Risk” has been (and even was at the time) debunked many times. The fact is that American students have never scored well on standardized tests compared to some of our foreign competition, but this relatively poor showing has had absolutely no correlation with American ingenuity, industry or any other economic indicator. Test scores are basically just a measure of how well students take tests – they measure nothing in the way of the creativity or innovation necessary to develop and sustain a thriving economy/democracy/society. For a full discussion of this issue, I highly recommend Diane Ravitch’s REIGN OF ERROR.

From there Steinberg goes full-throttle Paul Tough emphasizing “grit”, self-control, discipline and perseverance. He, like Tough, argues that such “non-cognitive” skills should be taught in schools and he (also like Tough) holds up the KIPP charter schools as a model of such teaching. I have to roll my eyes whenever people start talking about “grit”, especially in connection with low income and minority children. I just finished reading THE OTHER WES MOORE, in which the author, a very successful Rhodes Scholar, learns about a murder committed by someone who shared his same name and who grew up very close to where he did. Both the author and the other Wes Moore were on a path toward lives of crime when the author was sent to military school where he pulled himself together. I suppose some would see that as evidence that the “grit” he learned in military school was what saved him. But the other Wes Moore had his own thriving drug business before he was even a teenager. He had to keep track of an intricate web of suppliers and customers and he rose to leadership in a complicated and vicious hierarchy of foot soldiers through kingpins. Now, I’m not trying to claim that drug dealing is a noble or pro-social pursuit in line with military school or being a Rhodes Scholar, but I would say that it’s evidence that “grit” is not what the other Wes Moore lacked.

Most kids who fail at school, in fact, have some pursuit which requires discipline, concentration, impulse control, perseverance and “grit”, whether sports or role playing/video games or some other hobby. “Grit”, perseverance and discipline are by-products of interest and relevance. If you really want to see “grit”, perseverance and discipline, watch a young child playing a pretend game or creating an art project or other pursuit of their choosing. Most people lack “grit” for things they perceive as boring, mundane and/or irrelevant to their lives. When education fails to lead many low income youth out of poverty, it is no wonder that so many low income youth perceive education to be boring and/or irrelevant and lose their “grit” in connection with it. Forcing students into “no excuses” drill-and-kill schools like KIPP which are strictly regimented and controlled is not likely to develop “grit”. What most likely saved the Rhodes Scholar Wes Moore isn’t so much the “grit” he developed at military school as it was the people at military school who cared enough about him to help him (and the mother who cared enough to sacrifice to send him there). For a further discussion of “grit” (and a very different view of the ubiquitous “marshmallow experiment” which purportedly demonstrates the virtue of self-control) I recommend Alfie Kohn’s THE MYTH OF THE SPOILED CHILD (or pretty much anything else by Kohn.

Steinberg does get back on track in the last couple chapters of the book in which he talks about situations in which adolescents can and should be treated like adults and allowed to make their own decisions and situations in which they may need more support and even restriction. He talks about the distinction between “hot” cognition vs. “cold” cognition. Hot cognition is when decisions need to be made quickly, often under pressure and often influenced by peers. He gives the example of driving, which requires rapid response and which has been demonstrated that teens perform significantly less well on when in the presence of their peers. Drinking, drug use and military combat are similarly potentially dangerous “hot” situations which may require support/restriction (Steinberg points out the contradiction of allowing 17 year olds to sign up for the military but not allowing them to drink until age 21). On the other hand, he argues that a decision like whether or not to have an abortion is “cold” cognition because the girl/woman has the time to reason through the decision. Teens have been shown to handle “cold” cognition as well as adults, so Steinberg sees no reason to restrict teens’ access to abortion, especially beyond the waiting periods and counseling requirements that are already in place. He also talks about the application of the science of adolescent brain development to the juvenile death penalty and juvenile criminal culpability in general (crime being generally “hot” cognition involving spur-of-the-moment decisions). Basically, Steinberg says that when they have reasonable chance to think, teens are just as capable as adults. But the problem with adolescence is often that teens simply don’t think – the pull of the immediate reward and the desire to impress peers simply overrides any conscious decision making or even the reasonable possibility of such. Until teens learn to “brake” their “overactive engines”, they need the support, guidance and sympathetic understanding that affluent youth have always had.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Smart, engaging, and ultimately unsatisfying 1 octobre 2014
Par Knits in Tardis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I think I'm going to be going against overwhelming opinion here because Laurence Steinberg definitely has the skinny here on what makes pubescent (and post-pubescent) "kids" tick. If he's to be faulted on his observations, it is only insofar as a lot of parents already intuit much of the results of his more formal inquiries, based on our real world experience with the adolescent brain. I didn't need to know that adolescent rats actually imbibe more alcohol in the presence of "peers" than lone rats to extrapolate that kids egg each other on when it comes to short-sighted, reward-seeking behaviors, for one example.

But the empirical evidence goes down easy here, interspersed with professional and a few personal anecdotes from Dr. Steinberg. He's certainly right in suggesting that too many parents adopt an extreme parenting style - either autocracy or permissiveness - but his suggestions for finding the engaged, active and caring "middle path" is less about cutting edge clinical science and more about "standing on the shoulders of giants", going back at least as far as Dr. Spock, who I guess would be considered overly "permissive" today? From Spock to Sears, if you've read the literature over the years, I don't think the parenting information in the book has that much new to offer.

Steinberg, however, has a larger audience in mind than simply the parents of today's adolescents. His work has brought him into contact with adults in the criminal justice system who made terrible mistakes as children - sometimes tragically unknowing or uninformed mistakes - and were tried as adults, and sentenced to a cycle of failure, if not multiple decades behind bars. More on that below.

There are also words here for policymakers in government and the public school system, which has a long history of failing "improvements". The arguments are articulate, but also familiar: Steinberg isn't the first to call for a return to the concepts of recess and general physical activity breaks, structured or un-. He's not the first to decry "teaching to the test" or to call for high schools to raise the bar for all the kids, not just the superstars in AP classes.

As valuable as the context given here is for understanding the "why" of what we are doing wrong, the author - again and again - is aiming at policy and societal failures somewhat beyond the scope of his subject. Are we failing adolescents because policymakers, lawmakers, educators and courts are filled with ignorant or misguided people? Or is there a bigger failure in play here having to do with overarching issues of race, class, prejudice and privilege? Steinberg touches on the fact that with most households today being single parent or dual-income earner, that kids are unsupervised after school much more than in their parents' or grandparents' generation - that's a whole kettle of worms unto itself, with many kids of (relative) affluence being nearly as vulnerable to various forms of self-destruction or sabotage as their more economically distressed peers. The encouragements here for parents to do what they can to minimize unsupervised time is reasonable, and also a little bit like telling a food stamp mom that she should really buy more organic stuff. Unless you have a strategy to make it economically feasible, it's simply an exercise in anxiety and guilt.

Guilt, however, can have its place. Long after I've forgotten other details of this book, I'll remember the story of the 15 year old accused bomb maker in Guantanamo that the government wanted to have deemed as an adult, that distinction predicated on the logic that if he was old enough to make a bomb... (Never mind cultural indoctrination and the fact that the same kind of fine motor skills and detailed-instruction-following capacity that goes into bomb-making is also enjoyed by many 10-year-old Lego hobbyists.) Or an even younger boy in Detroit who played "lookout" for older boys he idolized in what turned out to be a fatally botched convenience-store heist. Michigan laws made him an accomplice to the murder, sentenced the same as an adult, and now a deeply regretful, intelligent, self-educated man of 30 sits in prison with no net benefit to society and in fact arguably a loss, a situation duplicated many times over and with some infamy in states like Florida, with one of the largest "underage" inmate populations in the nation.

These later stories, dominating a chapter on criminal justice could be a book in themselves, as could several other chapters. While not convinced that _Age of Opportunity_ is a go-to book for beleaguered parents of teens, I certainly hope that Dr. Steinberg is afforded a forum to continue the dialogue between science and sociology, on behalf of today's teens, tweens, and young adults.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting and Informative 24 octobre 2014
Par Tia Bach - Publié sur Amazon.com
As the mom of three girls ages 14, 12, and 9, I am just beginning to see the ebbs and flows of the adolescent years. I am also the oldest of three girls, so I remember those years as well. Just in one generation, I am shocked by the new averages being thrown at me about when girls entered puberty. One pediatrician told me the average was getting closer to 9 than 10.

Age of Opportunity supports the idea that the adolescent phase of life is getting longer. The author states, "The brain is radically transformed by stress hormones like testosterone and estrogen." This is certainly not new information, but when coupled with data supporting an elongated adolescence, it's significant. I also found it interesting that while parents try to delay adolescence, society seems bent on a delayed adulthood.

Further studies show, and are illustrated in this book, that our brain is heightened during these years and captures the corresponding memories with vivid detail. In addition to all the brain studies, the book provides worrisome data comparing our teens to those in other industrialized countries.

At this point, I was convinced and craving solutions. After all, my kids are there and depending on me. I loved his basic principles: Be Warm, Be Firm, Be Supportive. It's the gray area that gets confusing. When is warm too warm (we create kids who go on American Idol and can't handle any critique and think they can sing even when faced with the reality that they can't) and firm too firm (although he does address that the punishment shouldn't be extreme and to be consistent and fair)?

As a parent, we know what we should do in a perfect, calm environment. Unfortunately, too often the chaos and expectations of our time take center stage: pressure to perform in sports and academics, an overload of technology, and constantly changing education focuses (hello, Common Core).

Overall, two-thirds of the book convinced me about a problem I suspected, while only one-third focused on possible solutions. I would have rather seen that flip-flopped.

If you are looking for a kick in the pants to search out parenting solutions to benefit your children, this is a great starting point. It's a book I'd love to see followed up by a manual with more specific solutions and examples for parents craving to make that difference.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 My favorite chapter was "Protecting Adolescents From Themselves 23 octobre 2014
Par Sarah - Publié sur Amazon.com
I really appreciated the level of nuance in this book. Not only does Steinberg carefully aggregate and explain a variety of studies, but he is also quick to take gender, race, and class into the equation, situating the experiences of real kids in their real environments. It is not a book that simply scares parents and leaves us hanging. Instead, Steinberg devotes a whole chapter to the idea that parents can help kids maximize their adolescent potential without turning into big clingy helicopters. The chapter, aptly titled "How parents Can Help" provides a thorough list and explanation of parenting techniques we can use to guide our children through adolescence and still help them think for themselves-- a kind of gradual release of responsibility model. His conclusion, moreover, lists clear solutions for everyone who comes into contact with adolescents, including policy makers.

My favorite chapter was "Protecting Adolescents From Themselves." Here, Steinberg details the kind of risky behavior and poor choices kids make when they are in groups. He cites case studies from his own life and practice as well as research studies that argue teens are worse drivers with friends around, are more likely to engage in risky behavior like drinking and unprotected sex when they are unsupervised with their with friends, are more likely to just generally get into trouble. This penchant for adolescent poor decision making is compounded, he argues, by the fact that lots of teens spend lots of time together without adults looking over their shoulders. The most chilling part of this argument comes when Steinberg highlights a very common, very high-risk situation that groups of teens find themselves in-- a situation that has the power to alter the course of their lives and the course of nations: war. He writes, "When soldiers are sent out on combat missions, they're often divided into fireteams composed of four warfighters. The foursome must constantly make difficult decisions, frequently under conditions of fatigue, stress, and emotional arousal-- the very circumstances that can impair an adolescent's judgment (100)." Steinberg claims to be looking for grant funding to study group decision to determine if groups that contain a mix of both adolescents and adults make better decisions, and he hopes to share that information with military planners.

I would happily recommend Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence. It was a smart, informative read!
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Turn a problem period into a productive one... 1 septembre 2014
Par Maria Poole - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I devoured this book even though it can be less than a quick read in some parts. I am very concerned with handing this period appropriately for my children's sake as well as mine. I feel that the author has done a good job in explaining this period and the plasticity of the brain during this time and how this can be a good thing. I tend to view this upcoming period with some reluctance and at times dread. This book has given me a more positive viewpoint and some tools to use on dealing with it. However I too wish that the book went into further detail on advice for parents and how they can best utilize this time.
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