How hormone differences affect behavior

JoAnn Deak, PhD Psychologist and Author, shares advice for parents on how your teenage child's behavior can be affected by hormone differences during puberty
How Hormone Differences Affect Behavior In Teenagers
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How hormone differences affect behavior

One of the things I enjoy talking about is hormones. Obviously, I am at a point in my life where they play some prominence but the real issue is we are stunned in the field by how much hormones affect behavior and thinking and feelings. It affects us, as I say, as much from the neck up as the neck down. So researchers have done things like give testosterone to females and oxytocin, which is the classic female hormone, to males and had them report on the differences. Oxytocin tends to promote girls caring about others an what they think. It really is a chemical that does that. Testosterone tends to promote risk taking and movement. And so you can see the classic difference right away. And so for girls, it tends to cause them to be somewhat hesitant in doing things differently or things that their friends don´t agree with. In boys, it actually encourages them to take risks and not worry about making mistakes. And you can see the long term effect of being tentative, of standing up for yourself, and taking risks or being enhanced in doing that.

JoAnn Deak, PhD Psychologist and Author, shares advice for parents on how your teenage child's behavior can be affected by hormone differences during puberty


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JoAnn Deak, PhD

Psychologist & Author

JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than 30 years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period has also focused on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Parents and educators at schools from New York to Hawaii, as well as such organizations as the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of International Schools, the American Montessori Society and the International Baccalaureate Association, have heralded Dr. Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identify formation and brain research.

Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls (Laurel School), for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent (except Antarctica!) She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Resident Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs for the past five years.

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