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Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe

by Jess P. Shatkin, MD, MPH

Published by TarcherPerigee


A groundbreaking, research-based guide that sheds new light on why young people make dangerous choices—and offers solutions that work

Texting while driving. Binge-drinking. Bullying. Unprotected sex. There are plenty of reasons for parents to worry about getting a late-night call about their teen. But most of the advice parents and educators hear about teens is outdated and unscientific—and simply doesn't work.

Acclaimed adolescent psychiatrist and educator Jess Shatkin brings more than two decades' worth of research and clinical experience to the subject, along with cutting-edge findings from brain science, evolutionary psychology, game theory, and other disciplines—plus a widely curious mind and the perspective of a concerned dad himself. 

Using science and stories, fresh analogies, clinical anecdotes, and research-based observations, Shatkin explains:

* Why "scared straight," adult logic, and draconian punishment don't work 

* Why the teen brain is "born to be wild"—shaped by evolution to explore and take risks

* The surprising role of brain development, hormones, peer pressure, screen time, and other key factors

* What parents and teachers can do—in everyday interactions, teachable moments, and specially chosen activities and outings—to work with teens' need for risk, rewards and social acceptance, not against it.


pub date: 2017-10-03 | Hardcover | 9780143129790