Tag Archives: adolescence

By Ted Boscia
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, December 4, 2012

Mendle

Mendle

Teens who date and are sexually active are known to be at elevated risk for depression, but why those associations exist is poorly understood.

Now a new Cornell study has found that casual sexual "hookups" increased a teenager's odds for clinical-level depression nearly threefold, whereas dating and sexual activity within a committed relationship had no significant impact. The effects held true for boys and girls, though younger teens (13-15 years old) who had so-called "nonromantic sex" faced substantially greater risks for depression. In contrast, dating alone was not linked to depressive symptoms, nor was sexual activity within a stable, committed relationship.

Researchers led by Jane Mendle, assistant professor of human development in Cornell's College of Human Ecology, said the study provides evidence that "context is key" when trying to understand how teen relationships and sex affect their well-being. The research is published online in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

"Many historical and media perspectives have presented adolescent sexuality as an indicator of problematic or even socially deviant behavior," Mendle said. "But this study and other recent findings are showing that's not the case, and adolescent dating and sexuality can be viewed as normal developmental behavior."

Using a novel behavioral genetics approach that compares siblings growing up in the same home, Mendle and her co-authors analyzed responses from 1,551 sibling pairs ages 13-18 from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of U.S. high school students initiated in the mid-1990s. Among other topics, teens answered questions about their mental health and dating and sexual history. Nearly two-thirds of the sample's youth had dated, and two-thirds were virgins.

By comparing siblings in their study, the authors could control for family and environmental influences that might also raise one's risk for depression.

"We designed the study to give us a purer way to isolate many of the factors that could be contributing to depression," Mendle said. "It allows us to compare specific types of social activities -- in this case, dating and romantic and nonromantic sex -- to see their overall effect."

The paper notes that not all the associations at play can be unraveled, however. For instance, some teens who have depressive symptoms or clinical depression may be more likely to engage in casual sexual behaviors.

Mendle, a licensed clinical psychologist who studies how such developmental processes as puberty and sexual maturation influence teens' emotional growth, believes adolescent sexuality is important to study because it is closely tied to how well people transition into adulthood.

"One of the hallmarks of adolescence is the formation of romantic relationships, and we know that what happens in adolescence is strongly related to your psychological, physical and financial well-being for years to come," Mendle said. "Findings like this can help shape the dialogue and public debate about how to best support teen sexual health, psychological development and other areas."

The study co-authors include Sarah Moore, a Cornell graduate student in the field of human development; Joseph Ferrero, formerly a graduate student at the University of Oregon; and Paige Harden, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas.

The study was funded in part by Cornell.

Ted Boscia is assistant director of communications for the College of Human Ecology.

By Ted Boscia
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, December 10, 2012

Exner-Cortens

Teenagers in physically or psychologically aggressive dating relationships are more than twice as likely to repeat such damaging relationships as adults and report increased substance use and suicidal feelings years later, compared with teens with healthy dating experiences, reports a new Cornell study.

The findings suggest the need for parents, schools and health care providers to talk to teenagers about dating violence, given its long-reaching effects on adult relationships and mental health, the researchers say.

Published online Dec. 10 in the journal Pediatrics, the paper is the first longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample to show links between teen dating violence and later multiple adverse health outcomes in young adults. The authors found that teen girls and boys reported aggressive experiences in relationships nearly equally, with 30 percent of males and 31 percent of females in the study showing a history of physical and/or psychological dating violence.

"Teens are experiencing their first romantic relationships, so it could be that aggressive relationships are skewing their view of what's normal and healthy and putting them on a trajectory for future victimization," said lead author Deinera Exner-Cortens, M.A. '10, a doctoral student in the field of human development in the College of Human Ecology. "In this regard, we found evidence that teen relationships can matter a great deal over the long run."

Exner-Cortens and her co-authors analyzed a sample of 5,681 American heterosexual youths ages 12-18 from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health who were interviewed as teens and approximately five years later as young adults about their dating experiences and mental and behavioral health. Participants were asked if a partner had ever used insults, name-calling or disrespect in front of others; had sworn at them; threatened violence; pushed or shoved them; or thrown objects that could hurt them. About 20 percent of teen respondents reported psychological violence only, 9 percent reported physical and psychological violence, and 2 percent reported physical violence alone.

In young adulthood, females who had experienced teen dating violence reported increased depression symptoms and were 1.5 times more likely to binge drink or smoke and twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts. Males who had experienced teen dating violence reported more anti-social behaviors, were 1.3 times more likely to use marijuana and twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts. The study controlled for pubertal development, child maltreatment history and a range of socio-demographic factors.

"In addition to clarifying potential long-term impacts of teen dating violence victimization, our study highlights the importance of talking to all adolescents about dating and dating violence," Exner-Cortens said. "This includes prioritizing teen dating violence screening during clinical visits and developing health care-based interventions for responding to adolescents who are in unhealthy relationships, in order to help reduce future health problems in these teens."

Study co-authors are John Eckenrode, Cornell professor of human development and director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, and Emily Rothman at the Boston University School of Public Health. The research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Ted Boscia is assistant director of communications for the College of Human Ecology.

By Ted Boscia
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, December 4, 2012

Whitlock

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) -- deliberately harming one's body through such acts as cutting, burning or biting -- is a primary risk factor for future suicide in teens and young adults, finds a new longitudinal study of college students led by a Cornell mental health researcher.

The paper, published online Dec. 4 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, describes how NSSI, thought to be a coping mechanism for some individuals in distress, may also open the door to more dangerous actions by lowering one's inhibitions to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

"While we can't conclude that self-injury leads to later suicide attempts, it is a red flag that someone is distressed and is at greater risk," said lead author Janis Whitlock, Ph.D. '03, a research scientist in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR). "This is important because self-injury is a relatively new behavior that does not show up much in the literature as a risk factor for suicide. It also suggests that if someone with self-injury history becomes suicidal, having engaged in NSSI may make it much easier to carry out the physical actions needed to lethally damage the body."
 
In a longitudinal study of 1,466 students at five U.S. colleges, Whitlock, director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescents and Young Adults, and co-investigators found NSSI to precede or coincide with suicidal thoughts and behaviors in slightly more than 60 percent of cases observed.

Participants, most in their early 20s, answered a confidential mental health survey annually for three years that assessed their history of NSSI and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, along with demographic information and common protective and risk factors. Researchers found that, independent of other risk factors, people who had self-injured were nearly three times as likely to attempt or consider suicide, while those with a history of five or more instances of self-injury were four times more likely to do so. The study has implications for NSSI treatment and suicide prevention. Previous studies have shown as many as 20 percent of college students and 25-35 percent of teens have a lifetime history of NSSI. Given its prevalence, Whitlock noted that physicians and others who work with youth should be better trained to spot such behaviors and assess for suicide risk.

Of many protective factors considered, the study identified two that appear to help lower the suicide risk in young people with a history of NSSI. Participants who had confided in their parents about their distress and those who perceived meaning in life were significantly less likely to show suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

"Meaning in life as a protective factor is not so surprising, because many who attempt suicide report that they feel a deep and often chronic lack of life meaning," Whitlock said. "However, considering that we studied a college population, it's a surprise that the parents emerged as having such a powerful influence in young adults' mental well-being, especially since we looked at respondents' relationships with all kinds of people, including therapists. Treatments for people at risk for suicide should focus on strengthening these relationships when feasible."

Cornell co-authors on the paper include John Eckenrode, BCTR director and professor of human development, and Amanda Purington, BCTR research support specialist.

The research was supported by a grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Ted Boscia is assistant director of communications for the College of Human Ecology.

By Karene Booker
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, August 6, 2012
 
Evans

Evans

Such behavior problems in adolescence as aggression and delinquency are linked to chronic stress in early childhood, which interferes with children's development of self-control, reports a Cornell study published online in April in Developmental Psychology. 

To better understand the well-documented link between poverty and poor outcomes for children, the researchers analyzed data on risk factors, maternal responsiveness and child characteristics in 265 adolescents and their parents. 

The longitudinal study found that early exposure to the multiple risks linked with poverty -- such as poor living conditions, separation from family, single parenting and violence -- negatively affects children's self-regulatory abilities, critical skills needed to plan and control attention and behavior toward one's goals. These risks compromised children's self-regulation directly as well as indirectly when mothers could not provide sensitive, nurturing care. 

Lower self-regulation is, in turn, linked to more "externalizing" problems in adolescents, such as aggression and delinquency. "Internalizing" problems, such as depression and anxiety, were not similarly affected. 

"Our research examines the additive effects of multiple stressor exposures, rather than the typical focus on single variables such as divorce, abuse or housing," said Gary W. Evans, the Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology in Cornell's College of Human Ecology. He conducted the study with lead author Stacey N. Doan, Ph.D. '10, assistant professor of psychology at Boston University, and Thomas Fuller-Rowell, Ph.D. '10, a Robert Wood Johnson postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

"One of the things that chronic stress seems to do in children is damage the body's ability to regulate the physiological response system for handling environmental demands with consequences for physical and mental health," Evans said. "By teasing apart two major subtypes of psychological well-being, internalizing and externalizing, we have shown that their predictors operate differentially." 

In other words, internalizing and externalizing problems may have different causes and be influenced by different factors. Temperament may be more predictive of internalizing problems, while environmental risk factors are more associated with externalizing problems, the authors say. 

"Overall, our results suggest that while it may not always possible to increase income or reduce all risk factors, by improving parenting skills or child self-regulation abilities we may be able to ameliorate some of the effects of poverty on children's mental health," Doan said. 

This research was funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars Program. 

Karene Booker is an extension support specialist in the Department of Human Development.

By Karene Booker
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, August 9, 2012
 
Evans

Evans

 Childhood adversity is linked to chronic stress in adolescence, setting the stage for a host of physical and mental health problems, finds a new Cornell study published online in July in Psychological Science.

The longitudinal study found that the greater proportion of childhood spent in poverty, the greater number of risks children were exposed to, and this was linked to increased markers of chronic stress by the time the children were 17.

For their analysis, the researchers used survey data on 173 children that included information about family income and exposure to such risks as housing conditions, family turmoil and violence. Children's blood pressure, overnight levels of stress hormones and body mass index were measured to assess physiological changes, known as allostatic load, which are associated with chronic stress.

"While prior work has shown that childhood poverty is linked to elevated chronic stress, as indicated by allostatic load, this study adds two critical ingredients: We demonstrate this in a prospective, longitudinal design which makes the evidence stronger, and we show that the poverty-allostatic load link is explained in part by low-income children's exposure to cumulative risk factors," said lead author Gary W. Evans, the Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology in Cornell's College of Human Ecology. He conducted the study with Pilyoung Kim, Ph.D. '09, now an assistant professor at the University of Denver.

"In other words, one reason why poverty leads to chronic stress is because of the confluence of risk factors poor children encounter," Evans said.

The cumulative effect of these risks can add up to levels of stress capable of damaging the developing brain and body and setting a trajectory for future disorders, the authors said.

"Poverty often leads to chaotic circumstances that make it more difficult for children to get what they need to develop optimally," Evans said. "Chaos makes it difficult to sustain predictable and increasingly complex exchanges between caregivers and the growing child. Furthermore, this chaos occurs across many of the settings in which the children's lives are embedded, such as neighborhoods and schools.

"Based on what we're learning about the harmful and long-term effects of chronic stress on child development, we need to broaden our thinking about how we can improve the life prospects of children at risk and we need to make these investments early in life before the adverse effects of stress are encoded in the developing child," he said.

This research was funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health.

Karene Booker is an extension support specialist in the Department of Human Development.

By Karene Booker
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, August 8, 2012.
Savin-Williams

Savin-Williams

Rieger

Regardless of their sexual orientation, teens who do not fit behavioral norms for their gender are not as happy as their gender-conforming peers, finds a new Cornell study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (41:611-621).

The findings suggest it may be the effects of not conforming to gender stereotypes, rather than sexual orientation, that drive the increased mental health risks found among non-heterosexual youth. Although being a feminine boy or a masculine girl is often related to sexual orientation, until now, the separate effects of gender expression and sexuality on mental health had not been untangled.

"We need to rethink how sexual orientation relates to health. Too much emphasis has been put on a non-heterosexual orientation itself being detrimental," said Gerulf Rieger, lead author and Cornell postdoctoral associate, who conducted the study with Ritch C. Savin-Williams, professor of human development and director of the Sex and Gender Lab at Cornell's College of Human Ecology.

For their research, Rieger and Savin-Williams analyzed data from 475 rural high school students who participated in a survey about their sexual orientation, preference for male-typical or female-typical activities, and psychological well-being.

The researchers found that the non-heterosexual youth in the study were more likely to violate gender norms for behavior, feelings, activities and interests, but so did some heterosexual youth. The effect of being a feminine boy or a masculine girl was similar regardless of sexual orientation -- both childhood and adolescent gender nonconformity were negatively linked to well-being. The effects on mental health, however, were small, which the researchers say may explain why most same-sex oriented individuals experience few mental health problems.

"Perhaps some adolescents are harassed not so much because they are gay," said Savin-Williams, "but because they violate 'acceptable' ways of acting. If so, sexism may be a more pervasive problem among youth than homophobia."

This research was supported by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station federal formula funds, received from the National Institutes for Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Karene Booker is an extension support specialist in the Department of Human Development.

By Rachel Sumner

Sumner

This summer I taught the Thinking Like a Scientist class as part of the 4H Career Explorations program. The Thinking Like a Scientist curriculum was designed by my advisor Wendy Williams, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology. It consists of a number of modules covering science topics that are of interest to teens. As the instructor of this summer’s 3-day session, I chose which topics we’d cover, presented the material to students, and led discussions with the 24 students in this year’s class.

 After teaching this class last year, someone told me that the way the class goes totally depends on the group of students in the class, and I was surprised to learn just how true this is: Last year's group enjoyed thinking about future experiments that could be done, this year's group preferred discussing relevant experiments that have already been done. One year's group liked breaking into smaller groups for discussions, while the other year's group would rather have a discussion all together. One group of students seemed to enjoy building on each other’s ideas, and the other group reveled in respectfully challenging each other’s ideas.

I think one of the best parts of the Thinking Like a Scientist class is its flexibility. Taking part in this class gives students the tools to think about topics that matter to them in a scientific way. Topics like bullying and teen suicide, which have been in the news frequently but are not part of the Thinking Like a Scientist curriculum, were clearly on students' minds. Having the flexibility to discuss these important topics and encourage students to approach them in a scientific way seemed to be beneficial for the students.

The students' favorite part of this year's Thinking Like a Scientist class was probably having lunch with graduate students from different science and engineering fields. They had the opportunity to ask questions about applying to college, deciding what to study, and what kinds of things you get to do as a psychologist, physicist, electrical engineer, or natural resource scientist. Taking part in this discussion reminded me how teens are often equally enthusiastic and nervous about the future, but it’s heartening to see them grapple with serious questions – about science, about their own lives, and about ways to improve the lives of others.

 Rachel Sumner is a graduate student in human development in the College of Human Ecology.

By Karene Booker
Reprinted from the Cornell Chronicle, May 7, 2012

Mendle

Mendle

Boys who reach sexual maturity more rapidly than their peers have more problems getting along with others their age and are at a higher risk for depression, according to a Cornell study published in Developmental Psychology (47:2).

"The dramatic physical changes of puberty are paralleled by equally dramatic social and emotional changes because boys are transitioning into the new roles and expectations that go along with biological maturity," said lead author Jane Mendle, assistant professor of human development in Cornell's College of Human Ecology. Co-authors include K. Paige Harden, University of Texas at Austin; Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Columbia University; and Julia Graber, University of Florida.

These changes mean big adjustments not only for the individual but also for their family and social network, she said. "In cases of rapid pubertal tempo, boys may progress through puberty at a rate that is faster than the social environment can feasibly respond."

During adolescence when friendships with peers are becoming increasingly important, it may be especially difficult for rapidly maturing adolescent boys to maintain friendships with their peers who aren't developing at a comparable rate, the researchers said. Problems getting along with others their age heighten the risk for depression and future mental health problems, they said.

Although there have been many studies on the timing of puberty, Mendle and colleagues were the first to research the effects of its tempo, beginning with a study published in 2010 that found a link between pubertal tempo and depression in boys. There was no association between the tempo of puberty and depression in girls, although the study replicated the well-established finding that an earlier timing of puberty in girls was associated with depression. The study also found that early pubertal timing in boys was associated with increased depression, though the effect of timing in boys was significantly smaller than the effect of tempo.

"These findings were an important step," Mendle said, "since virtually all of the puberty research to date has been conducted on girls. Very little is known about the role puberty plays in emotional health for boys, and virtually no research had been conducted on individual differences in puberty other than timing."

The current study looks at the potential mechanisms for the links they found between pubertal tempo and depression in boys, using a sample of 128 boys between ages 8 and 12 from the New York City metropolitan area. The parents and children in the study completed annual assessments measuring the child's level of physical development, depressive symptoms and quality of peer relationships over the course of four years.

Mendle and colleagues found that while most boys experienced fewer friendship problems over the transition from childhood to early adolescence, the early maturing and the rapidly maturing boys experienced more friendship problems over time. Those with the greatest increases in friendship problems had the greatest increases in depressive symptoms. Their analysis indicated that the link between maturation and depression was due to the changes in peer relationships.

When asked about the implications of her research for parents and people working with youth, Mendle replied, "Probably the biggest advice I can give is that puberty is a highly individualized process, and the way an adolescent appears externally is no indicator of cognitive or emotional maturity."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Karene Booker is an extension support specialist in the Department of Human Development.

Ted Boscia
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, March 15, 2012

Reyna

Professor Valerie Reyna said that teens take dangerous risks because they believe "it's worth the risk" for the perceived awards, speaking on March 13 to New York City media.

Teenagers take risks that might give most adults pause -- speeding through a red light, binge drinking or having unprotected sex.

Contrary to popular belief, such behaviors are often not impulsive and don't occur because teens think they're invulnerable. Instead, says Cornell human development professor Valerie Reyna, her research shows that adolescents are aware of the potential dangers of their actions, but make calculated choices to "play the odds" because they believe "it's worth the risk" for the perceived rewards.

Sharing the latest evidence on adolescent brain development, Reyna punctured this and other myths for reporters at an Inside Cornell media luncheon March 13 at Cornell's ILR Conference Center in New York City.

Reyna's studies have revealed that adolescents tend to reason and assess risk via "verbatim-based analysis" -- where the mind focuses on precise details and facts and runs a complex comparison of the costs and benefits of a decision. Adults, on the other hand, more often use "gist-based intuition" to immediately understand the bottom-line dangers inherent in an action. Teen drivers may be inclined to race to beat a train, knowing there's a high probability they'll make it; adults would automatically sense that's a bad idea, realizing that it could be deadly.

"The calculation that teens make may be technically correct, but it ignores the categorical possibility of disaster," said Reyna of the College of Human Ecology. "If people are weighing the odds in potentially catastrophic situations, they're already on the wrong track."

To help vulnerable youths make smarter choices about sexual activity, nutrition and fitness, Reyna and Cornell Cooperative Extension partners are applying her research in a new extension-funded risk reduction project. Working with 189 youth ages 14-19 in Broome County, Ithaca, Queens, Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx, extension educators are teaching a gist-enhanced version of the Reducing the Risk curriculum identified as effective by the Centers for Disease Control.

Reyna developed two interventions -- one to reduce risk of sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy and another to promote healthy eating and physical activity -- that teach teens how to apply gist thinking when temptation strikes. Through 14 one-hour lessons, students learn to quickly and automatically recognize hazardous situations and how to reflexively recall and apply their core values to sidestep such dangers.

"Even teens with strongly held values do not always retrieve those values when they need them," Reyna said. "They retrieve them later -- that's called regret. In risky situations, teens need to respond the way troops in battle do to gunfire: Don't reflect, just react and follow your values to get through."

"The students really responded to [the approach] and said how they had learned many of these things in health class but not in this way," said Eduardo Gonzalez Jr., a Cornell University Cooperative Extension-New York City (CUCE-NYC) educator who has taught the curriculum and who also attended the media session two other CUCE-NYC educators.

Initial findings support Gonzalez's impressions: Compared with control groups, students educated about gist principles were more likely to limit their sexual intentions and behaviors and number of partners, Reyna said.

Reyna also spoke about "The Adolescent Brain: Learning, Reasoning and Decision Making," a new book she edited that collects research from neuroscientists, educators and psychologists on how the teen mind develops.

The stakes, she said, are incredibly high when it comes to risky decision-making by teens. A wrong choice could lead to death or destroyed potential.

"But teens are not fated to negative outcomes from risky behaviors," she said. "We can give them strategies to avoid risk and turn around their life trajectories."

View the video of Reyna's Inside Cornell presentation

Ted Boscia is assistant director of communications for the College of Human Ecology.

By Karene Booker
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle, December 15, 2011 

Reyna

Reyna

Teenage brains undergo big changes, and they won't look or function like adult brains until well into one's 20s. In the first book on the adolescent brain and development of higher cognition, a Cornell professor helps highlight recent neuroscience discoveries about how the brain develops and their implications for real-world problems and how we teach young people and prepare them to make healthy life choices.

For the new book, "The Adolescent Brain: Learning, Reasoning, and Decision Making" (APA Books), Valerie Reyna, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology and co-director of Cornell's Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research, brought together an interdisciplinary group of leading scientists to focus on brain development and higher cognition, which is necessary for students to learn math and science and make good decisions. Higher cognition is the set of thinking skills students use to manipulate information and ideas in ways that lead to problem solving and new insights.

"A major implication of the provocative research highlighted in this book is the contrast between adolescents' cognitive skills, which are at a lifetime peak, and their frequent inability to use this competence in everyday decision making," said Reyna, who co-edited the volume with Sandra Chapman, director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas; Michael Dougherty, professor of psychology at University of Maryland; and Jere Confrey, professor of mathematics education at North Carolina State University.

"But the evidence suggests that the way young people learn, reason and decide changes [during this period] and can be changed," said Reyna. "We must move education beyond rote learning to fostering the cognitive skills essential for academic achievement and economic well-being in our knowledge-based economy. Higher cognition is a foundation critical for individuals and our country to be competitive. This volume introduces a new framework for interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists in neuroscience, psychology and education."

"The Adolescent Brain" addresses the major changes in memory, learning and decision making experienced by adolescents as they mature, beginning with a review of the changes in brain anatomy and physiology based on extensive neuroimaging studies. The ensuing chapters examine the developing capacity of the adolescent brain, covering such topics as the underpinnings of intelligence and problem solving, strategies for training teen reasoning abilities, effectively teaching mathematical concepts, the effects of emotion on reasoning, and factors that promote teen engagement in health-related behaviors.

The book wraps up with a chapter by Reyna and Ph.D. student Christina Chick that integrates the behavioral and neuroscience evidence in a process model of adolescent risky decision making. Chick and Reyna explain, for example, how massive pruning of gray matter in late adolescence fits with the growth of adolescents' ability to connect the dots and understand the underlying meaning of situations. This gist thinking facilitates recognition of danger and protects against unhealthy risk-taking, they say.

The book is intended for researchers, students and professionals in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and psychology and for education policymakers and educators, especially in mathematics.

Reyna will present a talk on the "Adolescent Brain" March 1 at 4-5:30 p.m., 160 Mann Library.

Karene Booker is extension support specialist in the Department of Human Development.