Teens and Serious Crimes on ABC 15

How often do our teens find themselves in serious trouble?

That is the questions that our licensed psychologist Dr. Melissa Estavillo is answering today with Abc’s 15 news.

This video comes in the wake of a 14-year-old male in Maricopa county being arrested for murder recently, as well as the two teen boys arrested for robbery and murder of two downtown coffee shop employees last year.

“What allows someone to be resilient, and what allows someone to do some of these crimes?” asks Dr. Estavillo.

She goes on to explain that the part of the brain that is really responsible for rational decision making doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25.

Teens of this age might not have the maturity to think through their actions. While they are certainly capable of these crimes, their thought processes are often not thinking of the consequences but rather just ‘reacting’.

In 2018 there were 312 juvenile cases that were moved to adult court cases in Maricopa county.

There are a lot of different things that can help teens develop into rational, healthy, and nonviolent adults. Some of those things include a healthy and consistent home life. By having stable adults in their lives that can teach them about empathy, consequences, and give them the attention they deserve.