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Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A leading authority draws on new research to explain why the adolescent years are so developmentally crucial, and what we must do to raise happier, more successful kids.

Adolescence now lasts longer than ever before. And as world-renowned expert on adolescent psychology Dr. Laurence Steinberg argues, this makes these years the key period in determining individuals’ life
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  428 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Tia Bach
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
As the mom of three girls ages 14, 12, and 9, I am just beginning to see the ebbs and flows of the adolescent years. I am also the oldest of three girls, so I remember those years as well. Just in one generation, I am shocked by the new averages being thrown at me about when girls entered puberty. One pediatrician told me the average was getting closer to 9 than 10.

Age of Opportunity supports the idea that the adolescent phase of life is getting longer. The author states, "The brain is radically transform
Jen Winckler
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this as "assigned reading" for a parents of teens group, and I had my highlighter doing extra duty. I liked the hard scientific facts but also that it relates to actual scenarios that adolescents find themselves. It opened up not excuses for their behavior but an opportunity to see it differently as a parent and try to find ways to work within what is a physical as well as emotional situation. It's one more input into how to raise children, but one that I found helpful and not just more o ...more
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Very good overall. There is lots of neuroscience info but explained clearly so people can understand it. Makes so much sense & really found this helpful as I struggle to parent a 13 year old girl. Some information I was already aware of but good to get further insights into parenting approaches & what works.

Really liked that he clearly explained how to address problems & challenges, solid solutions were offered so I feel better equipped to handle this challenging parentin
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, houghtonmifflin
Some really excellent research and ideas here (though as someone who grew up in a place without decent public transit I completely disagree about the driving age), and presented in a coherent, interesting way. A good read for any parent or educator.
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think I learned more about adolescents in this book than I did in my entire MSW program. Excellent information and pretty well-written, although it could have been more succinct in places.
Brent Mckay
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating primer on teen brains & behavior.
Jessica Lahey
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The best book on the science of adolescence I've read.
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent. I loved Steinberg's book on parenting, and this is a must-read as well.

Tons of parts I liked from the book:

p. 19 The Reminiscence Bump
We recall more mundane events from adolescence, whereas unusual, emotion-laden momentous and self-defining events are recalled regardless of when they occur.

p.70 Phases in the Development of the Adolescent Brain

Phase One: Starting the Engines. Around the time of puberty, the limbic system becomes mor
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Steinberg argues that society has incorrectly labeled adolescence as a period that teens just need to get through, and that current research on adolescence reveals that it is actually a window of opportunity to positively impact brain development. The chapters that focus on relaying results of research were well written and clear. He is quick to point out limitations of research when necessary.
I learned a lot about how brain development shapes adolescent behavior. The chapters that give sugges
Poonam Desai
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Research-heavy, but well-written. Steinberg summarizes in a surprisingly readable format all of the recent research around adolescent brain and body development. He provides basic information in compelling ways that really flip the way I understood adolescence and the way we treat this group of youth as a society. Some of the statistics he provides will blow your mind, especially around the treatment of adolescents by the criminal justice system. For instance, we know that most crimes are commit ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I will admit, parts of this I "sped read." Author makes a good case for understanding the now lengthy experience of adolescence and to, perhaps, cut some slack to those twenty-somethings that are still finding there way (whatever that means). The advice for parents -- well -- that's just good parenting advice... authoritarian (vs. autocratic or permission), caring, physically affectionate, normal bedtimes, healthy eating. What I wished to have learned more about is just how secondary education i ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Easily the best book on adolescent psychology that I have ever read (including Steinberg's Adolescence textbook, which I assigned last semester). I plan to replace his $100 textbook with this far more reasonably priced book for my next foray into teaching Psychology of Adolescence. This is an accessible, well-written, backpack-friendly, thoroughly researched work from one of the leading experts in the field. Great discussion of multiple applications, including education, parenting, and criminal ...more
Lauren Liebenberg
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a refreshing perspective on adolescence! The advances in neuroscience as explained by Dr Steinberg, have given us a new understanding of how our brains develop, which is fascinating in itself, but the development of the brain during adolescence in particular, explains why it is such a perilous but exciting time in our lives - why it is truly the age of opportunity. As someone on the brink of teen parenting this book was illuminating, invigorating - adolescents are on full throttle and brake ...more
Liz Berning
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had to read this book for my Developmental Psychology class. While it is not something that I would have chosen to read on my own, I did enjoy the book as it is very well structured and has some incredibly interesting observations and statistics, as well as tips and tricks for parents, teachers and policy makers. Would recommend
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adds much needed perspective to the adolescent. Allows a way for parents and teachers to better guide and maneuver this shift and time in our lives and also to understand the reasoning behind behaviors and reactions that actually give the caregiver be it parent, sibling, teacher, or coach some support for a win-win analysis.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this for my education course at my college and I have to say, Steinberg makes some really solid points on the role of parents, the responsibility of educators, and the plasticity of adolescents. I like how much of his writing was backed by science and personal experience. This was a good technical read for my class on adolescent learning and development.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
As an educator-to-be, I found much of the information in this book to be repetitive. It didn't introduce any new ideas regarding Adolescent Development, and I found the personal anecdotes to be boring - to say the least.

This book could, however, provide a new perspective to parents of adolescents struggling to understand their child's' mind.
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Both a useful resource for those seeking to guide and educate adolescents, and an interesting neuropsychological review. I think this could have gotten a bit more technical, but it was informative if at times a bit precious. Steinberg needs to try to shock us less and rely more on his clear exposition.
Katie Kyle
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Good resource to understand adolescents. He shares a lot of helpful research and explains it in a way that's easy to understand. It would have been better if he had recognized more about how power and oppression factor in to lives of adolescents.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is for everyone who wants to get a basic understanding of how the adolescent brain works in a language that anyone can understand. It also helped me understand myself and why I may have experienced the world the way I did as a young person from a scientific point of you.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great and informative read about the adolescent brain. I walked away with a greater understanding of why teenagers act in certain ways in different situations. Steinberg writes clearly for the layperson to understand what happens inside the brain.
Jackie Intres
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm an educator who specializes in adolescent learning and this is one of the best books I've ever read on adolescent development and how parents, teachers, and policymakers can help support an age that presents so many unique challenges.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This will both boost the substantive quality of court filings I write for work as well as, someday, inspire productive parenting thoughts.
Gina Neder
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute must read for any parent or educator.
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This should be required reading for everyone involved in the juvenile justice system.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very very interesting.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good overview of neuroscience of adolescence for parents, teachers.
Alison Goalder
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who works with teens in any capacity should read this book.
Taleb Zaghmout
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, the best book I've ever read about adolescence psychology!
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly informative book on adolescent psychology. A timely and rewarding read. Highly recommend to educators, parents, administrators & policy makers.
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Laurence Steinberg is Professor of Psychology at Temple University. He is
Author of numerous books and regularly writes about education issues in
The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
“There is a time lag between the activation of brain systems that excite our emotions and impulses and the maturation of brain systems that allow us to check these feelings and urgings—it’s like driving a car with a sensitive gas pedal and bad brakes.” 3 likes
“United States consumes more than 75 percent of the world’s ADHD medication.” 0 likes
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