National Academies Press: OpenBook

The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth (2019)

Chapter: Board on Children, Youth, and Families

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Suggested Citation:"Board on Children, Youth, and Families." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25388.
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BOARD ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES

The Board on Children, Youth, and Families (BCYF) is a nongovernmental, scientific body within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that advances the health, learning, development, resilience, and well-being of all children, youth, and families. The board convenes top experts from multiple disciplines to analyze the best available evidence on critical issues facing children, youth, and families. Our ability to evaluate research simultaneously from the perspectives of the biological, behavioral, health, and social sciences allows us to shed light on innovative and influential solutions to inform the nation. Our range of methods—from rapidly convened workshops to consensus reports and forum activities—allows us to respond with the timeliness and depth required to make the largest possible impact on the health and well-being of children, youth, and their families throughout the entire lifecycle. BCYF publications provide independent analyses of the science and go through a rigorous external peer-review process.

Suggested Citation:"Board on Children, Youth, and Families." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25388.
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Suggested Citation:"Board on Children, Youth, and Families." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25388.
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Page 469
Suggested Citation:"Board on Children, Youth, and Families." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25388.
×
Page 470
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Adolescence—beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s—is a critical period of development during which key areas of the brain mature and develop. These changes in brain structure, function, and connectivity mark adolescence as a period of opportunity to discover new vistas, to form relationships with peers and adults, and to explore one’s developing identity. It is also a period of resilience that can ameliorate childhood setbacks and set the stage for a thriving trajectory over the life course.

Because adolescents comprise nearly one-fourth of the entire U.S. population, the nation needs policies and practices that will better leverage these developmental opportunities to harness the promise of adolescence—rather than focusing myopically on containing its risks. This report examines the neurobiological and socio-behavioral science of adolescent development and outlines how this knowledge can be applied, both to promote adolescent well-being, resilience, and development, and to rectify structural barriers and inequalities in opportunity, enabling all adolescents to flourish.

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