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Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This study will be gratefully received by many for its advice on how our increasing understanding of adolescent development can be put to practical use in helping adolescents through emotional and behavioral tumult... Steinberg's audience is as broad as his approach and includes parents, educators, politicans, businesspeople, and health care professionals. A clear and canny look into the adolescent brain that will help influence adolescent lives for the better." —Kirkus Reviews

"This is a convincing and eloquent call for change." —Publishers Weekly

"Steinberg forces us to rethink our assumptions, and ... includes some fascinating advice ... Steinberg's essential book serves the same purpose for parents of adolescents as the work of the late Louise Ames did for those of babies, toddlers, and young children: it makes sense of these mysterious creatures." — Huffington Post

"Simply the best book I have ever read about adolescence, and I say this as both the father of seven and as a scientist who works in this field. Steinberg guides us through truly novel findings on what happens during adolescence and tells us how, as parents and teachers, we should change our ways." — Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph. D., author of Learned Optimism and The Optimistic Child

"As a mother of two boys and an educator, I am so grateful Laurence Steinberg has written this amazing book. He not only clearly and elegantly communicates the newest insights into understanding teenagers' brains but also shows how adults can manage ourselves when we get frustrated with teens' behavior." —Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and Masterminds and Wingmen

"If you need to understand adolescents — whether your own or anyone else's — you must read this book. Steinberg explains why most of our presumptions about adolescence are dead wrong and reveals the truth about this exciting and unnerving stage of life. Written with warmth, lucidity, and passion, Age of Opportunity will fill parents with relief by demystifying their children. Educators and policy-makers should study it carefully." —Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun

"I love this book! Steinberg has blended the latest research with his decades of expertise to give us a bold new view of the perils and promise of adolescence." —Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

"Clear, evidence-based, and solutions-oriented, Age of Opportunity is the roadmap you need whether you already have a teen or young adult, or are preparing for one." —Madeline Levine, Ph.D., author of The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well

"A fascinating and important book. What every parent, teacher and counselor MUST knowabout the adolescent brain, its vulnerabilities, and its tremendous possibilities." —Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, and author of Mindset

"A masterful summary of what science has recently discovered about adolescence. I learned something new on every page." —Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., MacArthur Fellow and Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

"This fascinating book gives us cause for concern, cause for hope and cause for celebration. Whether you're a parent or an adolescent yourself, you should read it. There's information in these pages that could change and improve your life." —Peg Tyre, author of The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve

"Steinberg explains how 'abnormal' adolescent behavior is actually 'normal.' This book belongs on the shelf of every parent, teacher, youth worker, counselor, judge— heck, anyone interested in pre-teens and teenagers." —David Walsh, Ph.D., author of Why Do They Act That Way?

"Based on cutting-edge research and the wisdom of a leading authority in the field, this magnificent book will captivate parents, teachers, policy-makers and adolescents themselves." —Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Ph.D., Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College, London

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

HMH hardcover, 2014
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491546611
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491546611
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dienne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The first third of this book is well worth reading. We get a number of valuable insights into and great perspective on the biological, brain-based reasons (in easily understandable layman’s terms) for the issues and problems that commonly arise in adolescence, an understanding of how adolescence has been lengthening on both ends and why that both is and isn’t a problem. Adolescence, he demonstrates, is a period of great brain plasticity, much like that which is recognized in early childhood when infants through preschoolers are capable of learning and developing quite rapidly. The same capacity for growth exists in adolescence, but it is more of a double-edge sword because adolescence is a time when teens take many more risks, are less likely to be supervised and have much greater potential for encountering harm. The adolescent’s brain changes almost as much as a young child’s, but if that change takes place in a negative environment, negative changes can become encoded in the brain leading to life-long behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems that can, in turn, lead to school and work failure, unintended pregnancy, run-ins with the law and relationship difficulties.

Steinberg explores, through a great deal of research, exactly what the differences are between children, adolescents and adults as far as cognitive and emotional functioning. Contrary to popular belief, he demonstrates that teenagers are able to reason and make judgments about as well as adults when given adequate information and time to process it, so “immaturity” is not a direct result of deficits in judgment or understanding. He also sorts through a number of other commonly accepted “culprits” of adolescent (mis)behavior – impulsivity, self-control, peer-pressure, etc.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I think I'm going to be going against overwhelming opinion here because Laurence Steinberg definitely has the skinny here on what makes pubescent (and post-pubescent) "kids" tick. If he's to be faulted on his observations, it is only insofar as a lot of parents already intuit much of the results of his more formal inquiries, based on our real world experience with the adolescent brain. I didn't need to know that adolescent rats actually imbibe more alcohol in the presence of "peers" than lone rats to extrapolate that kids egg each other on when it comes to short-sighted, reward-seeking behaviors, for one example.

But the empirical evidence goes down easy here, interspersed with professional and a few personal anecdotes from Dr. Steinberg. He's certainly right in suggesting that too many parents adopt an extreme parenting style - either autocracy or permissiveness - but his suggestions for finding the engaged, active and caring "middle path" is less about cutting edge clinical science and more about "standing on the shoulders of giants", going back at least as far as Dr. Spock, who I guess would be considered overly "permissive" today? From Spock to Sears, if you've read the literature over the years, I don't think the parenting information in the book has that much new to offer.

Steinberg, however, has a larger audience in mind than simply the parents of today's adolescents. His work has brought him into contact with adults in the criminal justice system who made terrible mistakes as children - sometimes tragically unknowing or uninformed mistakes - and were tried as adults, and sentenced to a cycle of failure, if not multiple decades behind bars. More on that below.
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Format: Hardcover
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 transformed by stress hormones like testosterone and estrogen." This is certainly not new information, but when coupled with data supporting an elongated adolescence, it's significant. I also found it interesting that while parents try to delay adolescence, society seems bent on a delayed adulthood.

Further studies show, and are illustrated in this book, that our brain is heightened during these years and captures the corresponding memories with vivid detail. In addition to all the brain studies, the book provides worrisome data comparing our teens to those in other industrialized countries.

At this point, I was convinced and craving solutions. After all, my kids are there and depending on me. I loved his basic principles: Be Warm, Be Firm, Be Supportive. It's the gray area that gets confusing. When is warm too warm (we create kids who go on American Idol and can't handle any critique and think they can sing even when faced with the reality that they can't) and firm too firm (although he does address that the punishment shouldn't be extreme and to be consistent and fair)?

As a parent, we know what we should do in a perfect, calm environment.
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