Memories of high school remain vivid in our memories long after we graduate. But now, new science reveals more about the profound psychological effects that our high school experiences can have throughout our lives.
Jennifer Senior, contributing editor at New York Magazine, wrote about the topic last month:
To most human beings, the significance of the adolescent years is pretty intuitive. Writers from Shakespeare to Salinger have done their most iconic work about them; and Hollywood, certainly, has long understood the operatic potential of proms, first dates, and the malfeasance of the cafeteria goon squad...
Yet there's one class of professionals who seem, rather oddly, to have underrated the significance of those years, and it just happens to be the group that studies how we change over the course of our lives: developmental neuroscientists and psychologists. "I cannot emphasize enough the amount of skewing there is," says Pat Levitt, the scientific director for the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, "in terms of the number of studies that focus on the early years as opposed to adolescence. For years, we had almost a religious belief that all systems developed in the same way, which meant that what happened from zero to 3 really mattered, but whatever happened thereafter was merely tweaking."
Senior will join The Daily Circuit Wednesday, Feb. 21 to talk about her piece. Robert Crosnoe, sociology professor at the University of Texas, Austin and author of "Fitting In, Standing Out: Navigating the Social Challenges of High School to Get an Education," will also join the discussion.
"When you feel different because of what is happening to you in high school -- real or imagined -- that is messing up the identity development process, which is an important part of adolescence," Crosnoe wrote.