to process biological functions, environmental influences, emotional and sensory impulses, and other stimuli are just now being recognized as far more complex than had been realized. Any phenomenon—sleep, decision making, diet, or appetite, for example—could be studied as a way of illustrating these complex connections.

Participants offered a variety of candidate topics that could serve as the focus for a synthesis study, if it were tackled in steps, rather than as an effort to integrate the entire universe of research relevant to adolescence. At the same time, however, few were willing to abandon the hope of a basis for improved coordination and integration among multiple fields. The point was made repeatedly, in different ways, that research-based conclusions are most useful in practice when they reflect an integrated understanding of what is going on with teenagers, those at risk or engaged in risky or problem behaviors as well as those who are resilient in resolving or avoiding such behaviors.

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