Recent advances in our understanding of the human brain suggest that adolescence is a unique period of development during which both environmental and genetic influences can leave a lasting impression. To advance the goal of integrating brain and prevention science, two areas of research which do not usually communicate with one another, the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Adolescent Risk Communication Institute held a conference with the purpose of producing an integrated volume on this interdisciplinary area. Presenters/chapter contributors were asked to address two questions: What neurodevelopmental processes in children and adolescents could be altered so that mental disorders might be prevented? And what interventions or life experiences might be able to introduce such changes? The book has a 5-part structure: biological and social universals in development; characteristics of brain and behavior in development; effects of early maltreatment and stress on brain development; effects of stress and other environmental influences during adolescence on brain development; and reversible orders of brain development. The twenty chapters include contributions from some of the most well-known researchers in the area.
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Keywords: environmental, genetic influences, Communication Institute, neurodevelopmental processes