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Wallace, B.C. (2016). The Conference Morning Keynote Address of Dr. Laurence Steinberg on the Age of Opportunity and Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence: With Introductory and Closing Commentary. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 15(3):155-170.

(2016). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 15(3):155-170

Original Articles

The Conference Morning Keynote Address of Dr. Laurence Steinberg on the Age of Opportunity and Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence: With Introductory and Closing Commentary

Barbara C. Wallace, Ph.D.

Dr. Laurence Steinberg’s busy schedule prevented him from contributing his own journal article based on his keynote address. However, he was able to review, edit, and approve the contents of this article, which captures his keynote address, while covering the following topics: 1) the need to change how adolescence is conceived as something to survive; 2) the need to turn to brain science for a new vision of adolescence, including the importance of understanding brain plasticity; 3) the essential focus on self-control as a factor for consideration, as per findings from research; 4) the impact from the interaction of sex hormones and the neurotransmitter dopamine upon adolescents; 5) how adolescence is a stage of opportunity, as well as vulnerability due to brain plasticity—as in being vulnerable to mental illness, substance dependence, and stress and trauma; 6) the need to change how we think about juvenile justice policy and practice, and five lessons from brain science in this regard; 7) the importance of considering early disadvantages for children of color and implications for disparities; 8) implications, overall, for policy and practice in the criminal justice system; 9) the need to re-think how society sanctions adolescents, as well as the need for professionals and society to take advantage of adolescence as an opportunity. Finally, the article ends with the author’s own commentary and analysis, which extends some of the implications of the keynote address—including the need to focus on both proximal and distal factors, such as social determinants of disadvantage.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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