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New insights into teen risk-taking – their “hot” inhibitory control is poorer than children’s

01 February 2018

Kids who are better at resisting unhelpful impulses and distractions go on later in life to perform better academically, professionally and socially.

But how this kind of self-control develops with age has not been so clear. Teenagers’ show more self-control than children in many ways, but in other respects – think of their propensity for risk-taking – they actually seem to show less self-control than they did when they were younger.

In a new paper, published in Developmental Science, Ania Aïte at Paris Descartes University, France, led research investigating whether this might be because there are two types of impulse control – “cool” control, in which emotions are not involved, and “hot” control, in which they are – and that they might show different developmental trajectories.

If so, this could have implications for educational interventions aimed at reducing teens’ sometimes dangerous behaviour.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.


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