Adolescents develop more complex views of themselves, and become highly sensitive to the opinions of others. In this project, we aim to investigate how adolescents’ self-concept development is associated with changes in structural and functional brain development.
We measured structural and functional brain development in a group of 160 adolescents ranging from 11 to 23 years old by using a cohort-sequential longitudinal design. Three waves of data have been collected, including self-reports of personality traits, behavioural parent-child interaction observations, measures of structural and functional brain imaging, and measures of biological markers such as testosterone.
A sub-project examined a specific group of adolescents who experience difficulties with finding a suitable major and take a gap-year with Foundation Gap-Year in the Netherlands (www.breekjaar.nl). During this year, they focus on personal development and start working on improving their self-esteem and decision-making skills. We examined changes in their self-concept and underlying neural mechanisms, and subsequently tested whether they were able to make better suited academic decisions after their gap-year.
This project is supported by VICI grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), awarded to Eveline Crone.