Teenage brain development

Date Published: 
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dame Sue Bagshaw discusses teenage brain development and its influences - what this means for the GP - and how to optimise your communication to maximise your consult with the teenage patient.



  • 00:48 What’s going on in the teenage brain
  • 09:09 How brain development should influence our consultations.
  • 13:56 When is brain development complete.
  • 15:40 Prenatal influences on the teenage brain
  • 19:01 Mood and emotional dysregulation
  • 22:54 Sleep patterns
  • 25:01 Screen use
  • 30:36 Risk taking/reward seeking
  • 35:12 Food and the brain
  • 39:20 Substance use
  • 44:42 Privacy
  • 49:58 Take-home messages


Take-home messages

  • Listen to where you patients are in terms of their development.
  • Make your consults a conversation.
  • Help them to know that you’re really interested in them.




Dame Sue Bagshaw
Primary Care Doctor and Senior Lecturer

Dame Sue Bagshaw works as a primary care doctor specialising in adolescent/youth health at a one-stop community youth health centre for 10-25-year-olds, which she helped to set up. She is a senior lecturer in adolescent health in the Department of Paediatrics at the Christchurch School of Medicine. She spent 20 years working for the Family Planning Association in Christchurch and ten years working part-time on the Methadone programme in Christchurch: which is why she has interests in common with young people – sex, drugs and rock 'n roll!

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This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.