This guest post was written by Suzanne Houston, a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at USC who uses neuroimaging techniques to study brain development in children and adolescents.
All of you reading this sentence have been adolescents at one point. You have experienced the years marked by self-consciousness and peer pressure; when your parents were too strict, and your teachers too annoying. Somehow, you managed to struggle through it all to read this post. Perhaps some of you have teenagers of our own. Now, you are the strict parent, the annoying teacher. You are the one knocking on bedroom doors because you smell cigarette smoke, or the music is too loud. Perhaps, you are hiding the car keys, because you want to keep your child safe and under your roof, far away from the statistic that says that mortality rates among adolescents increases by 200%, among adolescents who drive compared to those who do not.