The UC Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives competition has awarded funding for a UC Consortium on the Developmental Science of Adolescence.
PI/Host Campus: Andrew J. Fuligni, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry & Psychology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA
Participating faculty, with expertise in neuroscience and biobehavioral processes, social context, typical and atypical development, and population diversity, include the following:
Rationale: Multiple biological and social changes make adolescence a key period of developmental transition. Biologically, pubertal processes and brain maturation create heightened emotional lability and reward sensitivity, with a more gradual maturation in cognitive control. Interpersonally, children increasingly replace family time with friend time, pay greater attention to the opinions of their peers, and begin romantic relationships. Structurally, the developmental period spans educational transitions to middle and high school, and for some, to college and the work force. The manner in which these transitions are negotiated – by adolescents, their families, and society – has significant implications for lifelong trajectories of health and well-being. Overshadowed by the national emphasis on early childhood over the past couple of decades, adolescence has re-emerged as a critical developmental period worthy of scientific and public health attention. Historical epidemiological research indicates that experiences during adolescence have perhaps the greatest consequence for adult health and longevity.
Topics to be pursued:
Goals: The primary goal is to be an incubator of collaborative research across campuses, providing the support and settings necessary for the development of ideas and efforts to obtain extramural support for research, training, and outreach. Consortium members will be pursuing the following three specific aims: