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An urgently needed guide to the alarming increase in anxiety and stress experienced by girls from elementary school through college, from the New York Times bestselling author of Untangled
“An invaluable read for anyone who has girls, works with girls, or cares about girls—for everyone!”—Claire Shipman, author of The Confidence Code and The Confidence Code for Girls
Though anxiety has risen among young people overall, studies confirm that it has skyrocketed in girls. Research finds that the number of girls who said that they often felt nervous, worried, or fearful jumped 55 percent from 2009 to 2014, while the comparable number for adolescent boys has remained unchanged. As a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with girls, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., has witnessed this rising tide of stress and anxiety in her own research, in private practice, and in the all-girls’ school where she consults. She knew this had to be the topic of her new book.
In the engaging, anecdotal style and reassuring tone that won over thousands of readers of her first book, Untangled, Damour starts by addressing the facts about psychological pressure. She explains the surprising and underappreciated value of stress and anxiety: that stress can helpfully stretch us beyond our comfort zones, and anxiety can play a key role in keeping girls safe. When we emphasize the benefits of stress and anxiety, we can help our daughters take them in stride.
But no parents want their daughter to suffer from emotional overload, so Damour then turns to the many facets of girls’ lives where tension takes hold: their interactions at home, pressures at school, social anxiety among other girls and among boys, and their lives online. As readers move through the layers of girls’ lives, they’ll learn about the critical steps that adults can take to shield their daughters from the toxic pressures to which our culture—including we, as parents—subjects girls.
Readers who know Damour from Untangled or the New York Times, or from her regular appearances on CBS News, will be drawn to this important new contribution to understanding and supporting today’s girls.
Praise for Under Pressure
“Truly a must-read for parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors wanting to help girls along the path to adulthood.”—Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult
About the Author
Lisa Damour, Ph.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of Untangled, as well as numerous academic papers related to education and child development. She graduated with honors from Yale University, worked for the Yale Child Study Center, then received her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Damour is the executive director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, maintains a private psychotherapy practice, consults and speaks internationally, and is a senior advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University. She and her husband have two daughters and live in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
“Lisa Damour offers a fresh, riveting take on the unsustainable stress girls face today, which is often fueled unintentionally by the most well-meaning parents and teachers. Damour also offers refreshing and research-based practical fixes; it’s possible to normalize pressure, in many cases, and use it in fortifying ways to build strength and confidence. Under Pressure is an invaluable read for anyone who has girls, works with girls, or cares about girls—for everyone!”—Claire Shipman, New York Times bestselling author of The Confidence Code and The Confidence Code for Girls
“Anyone who has read the beloved Untangled knows that Lisa Damour gets girls. This timely sequel brings stunning clarity to the complicated set of stressors that girls experience—in the classroom, online, with peers, and at home—and models how to show up as an ally instead of an adversary. Truly a must-read for parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors wanting to help girls along the path to adulthood.”—Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult
“Under Pressure is exactly what parents need and, as a mother, it helped me to relax! Damour explains the difference between healthy and unhealthy stress and anxiety. She offers a detailed, comprehensive look at how to help our daughters manage naturally occurring tension, toxic stress, and anxiety. This brilliant book is a must-read.”—Norah O’Donnell, host, CBS This Morning
“Lisa Damour is my go-to resource for all things raising girls (and I often apply her wisdom to my boys as well). Under Pressure is Damour at her best, addressing issues that are challenging our girls, from sexuality and academics to the ways girls speak and present themselves. Don’t be misled by the title; even if you believe your daughter isn’t unduly anxious, this is a book that will help you to help her navigate. Under Pressure is my gift of choice for parents of teenage girls, and a gift to parents everywhere.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, former editor, The New York Times’ “Motherlode,” and author of How to Be a Happier Parent
“Under Pressure provides striking insight into the inner workings of the anxious mind. Filled with tips for any parent, educator, or person interested in helping our girls live and perform up to their potential, this book is a go-to guide for understanding and dealing with stress and anxiety in girls.”—Sian Beilock, president of Barnard College at Columbia University and author of Choke and How the Body Knows its Mind
“In readily accessible and easily assimilated prose, Damour . . . [makes] common-sense suggestions to help parents help their daughters in these highly competitive times. Although few of these issues are new, Damour’s instructive book pulls them into the limelight yet again, where they can be addressed by a new generation of parents and girls. Practical solutions backed by solid research that will help many girls overcome their high levels of stress and anxiety.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Clinical psychologist Damour thoughtfully and compassionately discusses the many pitfalls faced by adolescent girls today. . . . This is a remarkably thorough and accessible guide for raising girls into strong, independent women.”—Publishers Weekly
“Parents of adolescent girls will find this an excellent choice for assisting their children in navigating day-to-day stress and struggles.”—Library Journal
“Damour offers practical suggestions for heading off stressful encounters and counteracting their influences. Although aimed at parents, Damour’s sensible and empathetic approach will also be reassuring for teens seeking guidance.”—Booklist