Critical Thinking and Alcohol
In adolescence, brain development is characterized by dramatic changes to the brain's
structure, neuron connectivity (i.e., "wiring"), and physiology. These changes in
the brain affect everything from emerging sexuality to emotionality and judgment.
Not all parts of the adolescent brain mature at the same time, which may put an
adolescent at a disadvantage in certain situations. For example, the limbic areas
of the brain mature earlier than the frontal lobes. The limbic areas regulate emotions
and are associated with an adolescent's lowered sensitivity to risk. The frontal
lobes are responsible for self-regulation, judgment, reasoning, problem-solving,
and impulse control. Differences in maturation among parts of the brain can result
in impulsive decisions or actions and a disregard for consequences.
Write about a time when your emotional reactions put you in a difficult situation.
Consider possible outcomes if alcohol had been involved.
Office of the Surgeon General. (2007).
The Surgeon General's Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking