Though anxiety has risen among teens and young adults 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.
Under Pressure starts by addressing the facts about psychological tension. Damour 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 offers solutions to the tensions that take hold in the many facets of girls’ lives: their interactions at home, pressures at school, social anxiety when among other girls and among boys, and social media.
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.