Is teenage rebellion a normal part of growing up? This week Dr. Robert Epstein, former Editor-in-Chief of Psychology Today magazine, explains this prevailing misperception of the average American teen on Home School Heartbeat with HSLDA president Mike Smith.
Conventional wisdom says that “teenage rebellion” is a normal part of growing up. Recent studies have claimed it’s related to brain development. Our guest this week is Dr. Robert Epstein, a prominent psychologist and author, who challenges these ideas with his newly published book The Case against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen. Dr. Epstein, welcome to the program.
Dr. Robert Epstein:
Well thank you Mike, it’s a great pleasure.
Can you explain to homeschool parents why teenage rebellion isn’t simply caused by the brain?
Well, first of all, this teen brain idea is a complete myth. In fact, the people who are trying to promote this are committing scientific fraud in my perspective. I've looked carefully at the studies. There’s no scientific evidence that teens have a defective brain that makes them irresponsible. And if you look at teens in other countries around the world, you find there is no teen turmoil. None whatsoever. Zero, no conflict. No conflict with parents, no teen depression, no teen drug use, and that’s all kinds of cultures. So there is positively no need for the turmoil we see. And there’s overwhelming evidence that the turmoil we see in this culture is entirely the creation of our culture.
Well, thank you, Dr. Epstein, that’s tremendous insight for homeschoolers. I’m Michael Smith.