“Simply the best book I have ever read about adolescence. . . 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 The Optimistic Child
“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.”—Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun
Over the past few decades, adolescence has lengthened, and this stage of life now lasts longer than ever. Recent research has shown that the adolescent brain is surprisingly malleable, making it a crucial time of life for determining a person’s future success and happiness. In Age of Opportunity, the world-renowned expert on adolescence Laurence Steinberg draws on this trove of fresh evidence—including his own groundbreaking research—to explain the teenage brain’s capacity for change and to offer new strategies for instilling resilience, self-control, and other beneficial traits. By showing how new discoveries about adolescence must change the way we raise, teach, and treat young people, Steinberg provides a myth-shattering guide for parents, educators, and anyone else who cares about adolescents.
“A fascinating book [that] parents and teachers ought to read.”—Atlanta Journal Constitution
“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? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen
In this commentary on, and action plan for, raising young adults, Temple University psychology professor Steinberg (You and Your Adolescent) mines cutting-edge research that unveils the neuroplasticity of the teen brain a discovery that makes adolescents "the new zero to three," a time in which experiences greatly influence brain development and future success. During adolescence, the brain's malleability offers extraordinary opportunity as well as great risk and peril (the latter if environments and experiences are toxic), Steinberg notes. The author calls upon parents, schools, and American society to take a new approach to this developmental stage. By parenting authoritatively, with warmth, firmness, and support, parents can help their children develop self-regulation and noncognitive skills that promote physical and psychological well-being. Explaining complex brain science in a clear-cut manner, Steinberg offers parents and educators practical advice, as well as innovative ideas about how society can better support its youth and adapt to the times; many of our youth-related issues, he asserts, are uniquely American. This is a convincing and eloquent call for change.