Questions for ‘Puberty may reboot the brain and behaviors’

an illustration of a girl erasing a scary shadow looming over a sitting girl

Puberty might help teen bodies erase the effects of childhood stress.

Katty Huertas

To accompany feature “Puberty may reboot the brain and behaviors


Before Reading:

1.  What is puberty? When does this happen?

2.  What types of stress have you experienced? How have you dealt with those stressors?

During Reading:

1.  What is working memory?

2.  What happens during the “fight-or-flight” reaction?

3.  What is the HPA axis? What do the letters stand for?

4.  What is cortisol? What do elevated levels of it indicate?

5.  What happened to many children in Romania in the 1990s? What long-term impacts did it have?

6.  What is the marshmallow test? (And do you think you would pass it?)

7.  Why is having persistently high levels of cortisol bad for the body?

8.  What is an “enriched” environment for a young rat?

9.  In one of her studies, Megan Gunnar had kids complete two stressful tasks. What were those tasks?

10.  Why is Matthew Duggan encouraged by Gunnar’s findings?

After Reading:

1.  Puberty might be a time to reset stress responses, which could help kids who have undergone hardship in their early years. What are other ways that these kids could be helped?

2.  When you’re having a hard time at school or home, where do you go for help? Come up with a list of three to five people or organizations to which you can turn to for help.