The Scientific Basis of Teenage Laziness

Why are teenagers so lousy at chores? Is it laziness ... or biology? Monica Luciana of University of Minnesota and colleagues have the scientific answer:

Blame it on "cognitive limitations." [Teenagers'] brains can't multitask as well as those of the taskmasters. [...]

The part of the brain responsible for multitasking continues to develop until late adolescence, with cells making connections even after some children are old enough to drive, according to a new study in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development.

The frontal cortex, which starts just behind the eyes and goes back almost to the ears, figures out (or doesn't) what to do when a person is asked to juggle multiple pieces of information. Imagine, then, how "make your bed and bring the laundry down" might befuddle a 13-year-old.


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Chores are not fun but when you're the parent of a teen you've had years of practice doing tasks that are a responsibility and are not fun from changing diapers to paying bills and all the responsibilities of parenthood. You've accepted "doing for your family" but the teen is still in the mode of "being done for". I agree that when you include them in helping out as toddlers and continue it throughout childhood it becomes a habit and part of the household routine and less of a "why do I have to do this?"
Robot's point of view is valid in that teens feel like they have a full plate. As you get older the plate stays full. The "stuff" on the plate just changes.
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Yeah, this study is rather incorrect. I was actually a a MUCH better multi-tasker when I was a teen than I am now (at 30). Much like Astrochicken described.

As for Vonskippy's comment, I found it entertaining. (although, dogs *really* don't 'learn quicker' than teens, they just have much less of an ability to ignore their 'programing'.) :)
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I have been studying what ticks off laziness for 4 years now, and I find this study not only insulting, but utterly incorrect. I'm 17 and have been multitasking on and off the computer since I was about 7. Every teenager I know was raised pretty much the same way. We are forced to multitask with school, work, social lives, world issues, everything. Teenagers are people too, we aren't just numb to the rest of the world.
The reason my generation doesn't get along with the previous generation is because they think we aren't as smart as them, and thats just absolutely absurd. We are lazy to issues that seem unimportant to us, like making a bed for example. Whats the goddamn point? You're just gonna sleep in it the next night and mess it up again.

Oh, and VonSkippy, I can't wait for you to have kids. Cause they are going to be a tad messed up. Cell phones, computers, game consoles and ipods are not mere "entertainment" to children of today. They are a means to gain new information at a very rapid rate. To just take it away for not cleaning the table should be unheard of in todays technological society. What you're doing is disconnecting them from the rest of the world. Real nice parenting bud, but we aren't dogs.
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