Adolescence is a time of risk and opportunity
Adolescence is the transitional period between childhood and adulthood. It is a time when individuals acquire a host of skills and experiences that will serve them well as adults. Adolescents tend to be open to new experiences and to care deeply about their friendships. In addition to the physical changes that mark adolescence, individuals in this stage undergo important changes in how they think and make decisions. Adolescents' reasoning is often very mature and adult-like. However, under some conditions, adolescents make riskier choices than adults. In the Youth Development Lab, we conduct studies that include children, adolescents, and adults in order to better understand how decision making changes with age. This research informs efforts to keep young people safe without overly restricting their opportunities to learn and grow.