Segments in this Video

Introduction: Adult under Construction (02:15)


Science identifies an individual as a "grown up" when he or she reaches the age of 25. People go through various physical, hormonal, and behavioral changes when they are teenagers. Are the changes because of biology, evolution, or both?

Brain and Behavior (02:27)

Line Jørgensen talks about herself, her family, and her life experiences. Scientists debate when the brain is mature enough for one to be considered an adult. John Sackville talks about how brain development influences behaviors.

Adolescent Brain (05:38)

Jørgensen and Prof. Adriana Galvan discuss maturity and how the brain changes during adolescence. The frontal lobe, which controls decision-making, self-control, and judgment, is not fully developed in teenagers.

Brain Development and Reward Center (04:49)

The prefrontal cortex is the last part of the brain that matures. Teenagers often overestimate capabilities, are impulsive, and take risks—especially with friends. Teenagers tend to seek activities that make them feel good.

Evolutionary Benefit to Risk-Taking (04:03)

Adolescents behave recklessly more with their peers than they will alone; impressing friends lights up the reward center of the brain. After puberty, adolescent animals seek independence and a mate; risk-taking is necessary.

Drives, Rewards, and Happiness (03:48)

The reward center of the brain is at its peak during adolescence. Prof. Daniel Nettle says that happiness is the overall satisfaction of a person’s progression in life.

Personality (04:34)

Personality is one of the largest determinates of happiness later in life. An individual's personality is largely made of how he or she responds.

Adolescent Focus and Emotions (04:04)

Adolescents have a difficult time seeing things from an adult perspective because their brains focus on self. People become better at controlling feelings and happiness as they age. Jørgensen and Prof. Jennifer Silvers discuss why adolescent emotions are intense.

Emotional Control (05:20)

As we age, we gain better control of our emotions; parents model emotional regulation and provide support for adolescents. Silvers explains reappraisal and the two most common forms. During a study, children and adolescents show less of a drop in negative experiences than adults.

Life Expectations (04:00)

Teenagers often become overwhelmed. The older a person becomes, the more his or her personality matches their environment. During adolescence, try new things, meet new people, and go to new places; do not become trapped.

Self-Control (03:29)

Self-control is more important for teenagers today than ever before in human history. Prof. Terrie Moffitt explains the development of self-control as we age; it is a form of independence. Think ahead and anticipate what may happen.

Biological Changes (04:51)

Genetics controls the timing of changes and can result in a maturity gap between teenagers. Moffitt believes the best way to live a good life is to be open to everything. We make more mistakes when we are young; thinking ahead can be helpful.

Credits: Adult Under Construction (01:26)

Credits: Adult Under Construction

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Adult Under Construction

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Our host sets out to find a scientific explanation for her erratic behavior during adolescence. Characterized by immense hormonal and physical changes, every person can relate to this life stage, filled with intense emotion, moodiness, and challenge. Now, research and new technologies allow us to gain a better understanding of what is happening inside our brains during these tumultuous years.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: FMK165842

ISBN: 978-1-64481-648-6

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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