Sensation-Seeking and Impulsivity (Psychosocial Development)

These findings speak particularly to the issue of immaturity and culpability, and are important to consider when mitigating illegal behavior in adolescents. In general, youth are more likely than adults to display less impulse control and more sensation-seeking behaviors. It appears that these characteristics are a normal part of adolescent development.

Laurence Steinberg et al., Age Differences in Sensation-Seeking and Impulsivity as Indexed by Behavior and Self-Report: Evidence for a Dual Systems Model, 44 Developmental Psychol.1764 (2008).

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Elizabeth P. Shulman & Elizabeth Cauffman, Reward-Biased Risk Appraisal and Its Relation to Juvenile Versus Adult Crime, 37 Law & Hum. Behav. 412 (2013).

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Michael Dreyfuss et al., Teens Impulsively React rather than Retreat from Threat, 36 Developmental Neuroscience 220 (2014).

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To examine if adolescents respond more impulsively than adults or children when confronted with a frightening or threatening stimuli relative to one that is neutral. This study considered behavioral and FMRI data.

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