Essay on Adolescent Development

733 Words 3 Pages
Most adolescents believe that they are mature and capable of making serious decisions and feel that they are able to handle their emotions under severe and stressful situations. However, this thinking is a normal part of the adolescent stage. Research provides evidence of major brain development in teenagers and emphasizes the inability of these young adults to understand all of their irrational and emotional actions. The maturing adolescent brain is biologically and therefore psychologically unable to comprehend the long-term consequences of committing serious crimes. Though the basic concept of decision making may appear simple to most, several factors affect how the brain processes emotions into rational actions. First, environment …show more content…
To expect an individual who is still developing fully to understand mature aspects of life would seem illogical. For example, psychologists Daniel Offer, Melvin Sabshin, and Judith L. Offer explain the effects of adolescent brain function on impulses by stating that a young adult is “left slave to his impulses, unable to control them with ordinary psychological means, and is subject to a large number of symptoms and problems: antisocial behavior, anxiety, depression […] poor reality testing, intensity and volatility of feelings” (176). These findings concur with previous evidence by emphasizing the need to re-evaluate the maturity level of an individual based on many more factors other than biological age. Despite overwhelming research and evidence that describes the emotional and psychological levels of understanding in teenagers, some still think that the biological years should determine how aware an individual is over his or her actions. First, it is more socially accepted to use the actual age of a person for legal purposes instead of trying to redefine their mental stature. To give each individual a new “age” to allow for more fair punishment takes more work than the government is willing to handle. Moreover, it saves both time and money to classify individuals on age rather than maturity level. The government does not have the finances to determine the mental age of each person accused of a serious crime in order to determine their
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