I’m studying for my Social Science class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?
1. Discuss what you think happens to brain development during puberty.
2. Discuss and identify Seattle Study risk factors that can affect normal brain development.
3. Discuss why healthy diet, normal sleep and home life are necessary for normal brain development
*All posts must be at least 6 full paragraphs in length and include direct citations from course materials to be considered for full credit
**RECENT, RELEVANT EVENTS TO MAYBE CONSIDER:
Recently, the current “zero tolerance” policy on immigration is causing issues. What do you think the impact is on an immigrant child or baby being removed from his/her parents when seeking asylum in the United States.
Could such removal interfere with normal brain development?
What is the long term impact of such removal and separation on the child, parents and family?
As a child grows and goes through puberty in their teen years, their brain undergoes immense development and change. This change remodels their behavior and thinking, becoming more efficient and productive in function. The way this efficiency occurs as mentioned in the Australian parenting website, Raising Children, the brain begins to “prune away” any unused or unnecessary connections in the thinking and processing portion. Another name for this noted feature is known as the “gray matter” portion of the brain. This developmental process is vital for all teens, as it correlates to their ability to think and act when it comes to consequences of certain actions, strategic planning and thinking to solve specific problems and impulses. If for some reason this process is interrupted by some outside or internal force, it would result in illogical, impulsive behavior as the brain would not be able to consider the consequences of some situations or be able to plan out how to solve certain problems. With the aforementioned, it can be seen why brain development during puberty is so essential for the growth of children in becoming young adolescent adults.
In fact, teenagers’ habits are significant when it comes to brain development. What a teen does on a daily basis and who they surround themselves with can influence and shape the way they act, feel, and think. Thus, it is important to ensure a teen has a positive environment and is constantly treated with care and empathy, as they are undergoing vital changes in not just their brain but their bodies too. Parents play a huge role when it comes to building a healthy teenage brain as they can direct their child’s time into participating in a wide range of activities and experiences. These could include anything from sports, music, studies, and anything else that could bring influence upon them. If a teen is guided the wrong way, it could end up in some serious consequences for them. For example, if a teen goes to school and plays a sport for their high school such as basketball, playing everyday at practice with friends and hanging out with them. However they experience some bullying during their studies and it leads to them playing worse in practice and games, which lowers their confidence overall. This can result in a domino effect with everything else they are performing in their daily lives. Which can carry onto their adulthood.
Considering all of these factors plays a huge role when it comes to teenage brain development. A child that is mistreated and misguided can end up becoming a juvenile delinquent. As mentioned in Chapter 3 under the Risk Factors and Characteristics section, it is noted that there are some specific indications that can lead to a young teen to become a gang member such as if the neighborhood has relative access to marijuana, a family has poor management, they have low academic achievement, or early violent behaviors. All of these risk factors contribute to gang violence and should be prevented at all costs especially when a teen is undergoing their adolescent phase, as it is the most important in the brain development process. It makes sense why certain characteristics should be avoided while others should be considered. For instance, if a parent wants their child to become a scientist with many musical talents, they will place them into science clubs and enroll them to take lessons with a musical teacher. This would increase the child’s discipline, organization, skills, and place them into a better environment. Although it is overlooked by some, puberty is a significant time in a teen’s life and parents should be educated on how to properly guide their child during puberty as it can have a lasting impact on their brain development.
Continuing on the topic of normal brain development, the Seattle Study group conducted and categorized risk factors associated that could affect a child’s brain growth during adolescence. These risk factors include neighborhood, family, school, peer, and individuals. When it comes to a child’s neighborhood, the essence of how clean and caring the community members are plays a role in a child’s day to day environment. One instance could be children having easy access to certain drugs. If a child who is clueless about drugs hangs around the wrong people, most likely he may participate in the kinds of activities that his friends are involved in. Certainly this would impact a child’s brain development as they are experiencing, thinking, and restructuring the way they are living towards a more negative direction. Usually these kinds of behavior are early indicators of a child becoming a potential gang member.
Additionally, another risk factor is family structure, which of course can make a direct impact on a child’s life and brain development. If a child lives in a one parent household with a low income, they are more susceptible to being exposed to gang-like people and thus performing these gang-like behaviors. Also, if they constantly experience fighting between their parents, their brain will capture these instances and reproduce what they are perceiving as their life. This falls into the environmental aspect of brain development. A child should not just be experiencing positivity and happiness outside of their home, it is key for them to have a healthy and supportive home life. Furthermore, if a child is also facing low academic scores, failing classes and earning detention, then they are more likely to be involved in juvenile activities. If they demonstrate these behaviors then it would probably be safe to assume their peer groups are involved in the same things. Eventually they will act irresponsibly on their own. Keeping all of these factors in mind, the Seattle Study group has concluded that these risk factors as stated in Chapter 2 are some of the primary indicators of predicting early gang membership. All of which would most certainly affect a child’s normal brain development.
This leads to the final discussion of ways to increase normal brain development while avoiding anything unbeneficial for a child during adolescence. When it comes to nourishing the brain, there are some key implications that must be acted on a day to day basis. That includes, sleep, a healthy diet, and home life. Sleep is so vital for replenishing the brain’s ability to function properly. In fact, sleep allows for neurons to better communicate with one another while eliminating any toxins in the brain that tend to build up when awake. It directly impacts the mental and physical capabilities of the body, including nourishing the blood supply to muscles and restoring energy for better growth and development. In a way, sleep can be considered as food for the brain. Without it, children will not be able to function properly and develop correctly.
Alongside with sleep, a healthy diet is very important too. A lack of nutrition can lead to a reduction in brain cell production, affecting size and complexity of the cells. It can be thought of as a positive to positive correlation, for healthy foods create a healthy brain and vice versa. Nonetheless, this does not occur on its own, parents must direct their children into the liking of healthy foods and make it a habit for their child to constantly nourish themselves even without knowing it. As a matter of fact, home life can be up to par with sleep and a healthy diet when it comes to normal brain development. Parents can play some of the biggest roles in a child’s life. Ensuring that a child is constantly surrounded in a positive environment is key to developing a healthy normal brain. Some may wonder why are all of these factors necessary for a child to grow a normal brain. It can be imagined simply as growing a plant. One must nourish and care for the plant everyday and ensure it is in proper conditions at all times to maximize its growth. If mistreated or miscared for, the plant is sure to reach less growth and develop improperly. A child is the same way. A parent must care for them as if their life depends on it because at the end of the day they certainly have a huge impact in the development of their child’s brain.
Valdez, Al. Gangs Across America. Chapter 3: Can Gang Membership Be Predicted?
“Brain Development: Teenagers.” Raising Children Network, 11 Dec. 2017, raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/development/understanding-your-pre-teen/brain-development-teens.