INSIDE THE TEEN BRAIN
press reaction

the new york times julie salmon

"You could get insight into your sullen teenager's view of life by re-reading 'The Catcher in the Rye.' Or you could pop her head inside an M.R.I. machine. Either way, what you learn won't stop her mood swings, but it might make you feel better about them -- or not. ...

This FRONTLINE report ... [connects] snarly teenage forgetfulness and wariness to a growth spurt in the brain similar to the rapid changes of earliest childhood. So now when your 14-year-old acts like a reckless idiot, you'll understand that his prefrontal cortex hasn't adjusted to the onslaught of new cells.

The program's images of unruly teenage brains galloping out of control may instigate apprehension. Is 'Catcher' about to morph into 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'? Will a lobotomy stop that teenage boy from belching at the breakfast table?

Don't worry. This deadpan Frontline report is aimed at soothing wounded parents reeling from the transformation of their sweet pups into sour curs. Just as they've been telling you, the poor dears can't help themselves. ..."


the philadelphia inquirer rob watson

"Calling all parents of teenagers: This is a program you must see! Frontline takes a look at the teenage brain in order to explain seemingly inexplicable teen behavior. Neuroscientists have discovered that puberty has a profound effect on a brain that is still growing. I suggest you watch this without your children. They could easily use the facts on this program to justify their actions."


the globe and mail john doyle

"... It's very good -- a serious but very entertaining account of recent scientific studies of how the teenage brain functions. It tries to answer the key question of many parents -- what on earth is going on inside a teenager's head? ..."


houston chronicle ann hodges

"... Frontline steps 'Inside the Teenage Brain' to produce some answers -- some of which may surprise you, many of which might actually help you make it through those sticky years.

First of all, you're not alone in the teens' briar patch. New research in neuroscience provides solid scientific reasons beyond 'raging hormones...rock and rap...drugs...or being just plain ornery.'

'The problem parents have is that once their kid becomes a teen-ager, for a brief period of time, it's as though they've been invaded by another body or another brain,' says Charles Nelson, neuroscientist/psychologist from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development. 'Suddenly, they just don't know their kid anymore.'

It's not the kid's fault, this report assures. Blame the kid's brain. ..."


boston herald liz matson

"... Most of the material is interesting, but there is nothing earth-shattering here. The program, which is light for Frontline, does not have any fresh advice for parents wondering how to handle the teen years. Even the scientists admit that despite all the new research, family support and loving relationships remain most important for teens. ...

Parents of teenagers will relate to what they see in the program and may find some comfort in the fact that the best they can do is what most are already doing."


new york post linda stasi

"... On tonight's 'Frontline: Inside the Teenage Brain,' scientists and researchers discover what your mother always knew: Teens act out because their hormones have gone crazy. I can only wonder if someone is getting big money to discover that the same thing happens to women with PMS, and men having mid-life crises. ...

They also discover that teens who have great relationships with their parents are more solid than kids who don't. And seemingly without even understanding what they are doing, they show a 'typical' family who can't figure out why their teen acts out. You don't have to be a scientist to know why -- the parents are horrible, negative dopes. ...

'Inside the Teenage Brain' gets much better when they delve into things we don't already know by instinct. For example, they prove that the brain cells used most during puberty and adolescence are the ones that will become hard wired and most used in adulthood. ...

Parents of teens will probably really enjoy this show -- if only to see how parents who always expect the worst of their kids, often get it."

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