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As many parents know, adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 can be the most perplexing and frustrating humans on the planet.
One minute they are happy with life; the next, they hate everything.
So coupling an adolescent’s risk-taking with his love for reward plus the innate need to establish his own sexual identity can mean that previously innocuous behavior can lead, if unchecked, to high-risk activities. While most people think of dating as getting in the car, picking someone up, and taking them to the movies or dinner, that’s an adult’s definition.
In fact, changes in an adolescent’s brain around puberty may contribute to an adolescent's seeking out romantic relationships and expanding them into sexual relationships, says B. Casey, Ph D, director of Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. Adolescents don’t see dating that way, says Casey Corcoran, program director for Children & Youth at Futures Without Violence. The spectrum of informal to formal relationships is wide,” Corcoran says.
Together, they cited information from 15 references.
One reason that adolescence is such a complicated time is because the brain is still changing. And most teens overwhelmingly prefer the company of their friends over their parents.So keeping watch for these changes can be really critical for parents.One recent study from the University of Georgia evaluated the dating habits of 624 students in grades 6 through 12 from six Georgia school districts over a seven-year period.“Young people don’t have a lot of experience with relationships.There might be something unhealthy or abusive going on in the relationship and they think that it is normal or even romantic.