Several RSF visiting scholars and grantees are featured in the National Academy of Sciences’ new consensus study report, “The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth.” The report was authored by the Committee on the Neurobiological and Socio-Behavioral Science of Adolescent Development and Its Applications and edited by Richard J. Bonnie and Emily P. Backes. Committee members with RSF affiliations include Anna Aizer (Brown University), Mesmin Destin (Northwestern University), Jens Ludwig (University of Chicago), and Michelle Jackson (Stanford University).
Aizer has received RSF grant support for her research on child development and social inequality. Jackson was awarded an RSF grant to examine the relationship between social background, educational attainment, and test performance. Destin was a visiting scholar at RSF during the 2016-17 academic year and Jens Ludwig was a visiting scholar during the 2010-11 academic year.
The report examines the neurobiological and socio-behavioral processes that underlie the path to maturity. The committee endeavored to synthesize recent advances in the science of adolescent development and assess their implications for the institutions and policy makers that serve adolescent youth. The report’s chapters focus on a variety of issues that impact adolescence, including biology and the environment, social inequality, education, healthcare, and the child welfare and criminal justice systems. A key focus of the report was on identifying the disparities facing disadvantaged youth and offering recommendations to redress these challenges. Among the recommendations made by the committee are: strengthening access to healthcare services for adolescents, including behavioral health; rectifying disparities in resources for disadvantaged schools and students; reducing racial and ethnic disparities in child welfare system involvement; and implementing developmentally appropriate and fair policies and practices for adolescents involved in the criminal justice system.