Under Pressure

Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls
Narrated by: Lisa Damour
Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (375 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

An urgently needed guide to the alarming increase in anxiety and stress experienced by girls from elementary school through college, from the 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, PhD, 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 fans 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 listeners 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. 

Listeners 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 best-selling author of How to Raise an Adult

©2019 Lisa Damour (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“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 best-selling 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 best-selling 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

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Everyone should read/listen to this book.

As a childless female police officer, I had been asked many times to speak with the high school girls about current social pressures they are facing. I decided to listen to this book to get a better understanding on this subject and I cannot rave enough about what I learned. Lisa Damour offers strategies and outlooks on conversations anyone could face with a teenaged girl. Everyone should listen/read to this book to be more supporting and understanding to the current social pressures and tools to deploy when someone young has questions or is struggling.

5 people found this helpful

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Concisely Insightful

I really enjoyed the clarity with which Lisa Damour laid out some really foundational concepts around stress, anxiety, societal norms, and how to better understand and deal with all of these things.

It is occasionally clear that it’s basically written about smart, affluent, private schooled white girls, although there were attempts to be more inclusive as well. How amazing to go to a school where there is a smart psychologist on site, and where it’s totally “cool” to go see her anytime! That’s hardly the case in many public schools, where stigma rules.

Overall, however, this book really highlights a different way of looking at all the strains that girls feel, and I was reeled in quickly and fully. Not only because I felt the author speaking directly to my daughter at times, but I totally personally related to lots of what she said to my own life, and to my son as well (as author said early on, book just happens to focus on girls).

Thanks to Lisa Damour for “untangling” so many issues, and for the amazing perspective she presents in “Under Pressure!”

4 people found this helpful

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wonderful for mother of tween and teen girl

So many good insights into what our daughters are thinking and feeling. Tips to help us as parents navigate those treacherous waters and come out alive! I will be listening again to solidify things I can do to help my daughters.

2 people found this helpful

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A Must Read!

Lisa,
Thank you for the evidence-based, real world techniques to help us teach our girls how to listen, use and tame their everyday anxieties! Brilliant!
Kim Fuller Jacoby

1 person found this helpful

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A MUST READ for all parents of girls.

Brilliant. So much helpful information to help us help our girls, even if they're past adolescence. The author narrating is even better than reading it, too.

1 person found this helpful

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Must read for parents navigating the world today!

Packs a punch with current statistics of the challenges our daughters face and how those challenges can impact their development both socially and intellectually. Offers valuable realistic actions and perspectives in support of learning how to manage anxiety and stress at any age.

1 person found this helpful

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Wish I had this book when my daughters were younger

This book is a must read for parents of girls that are concerned about their daughter’s emotional well-being. Wish I had it when my oldest started middle school. Issues discussed are primarily focused on middle and high school but some are appropriate for elementary school and others into college years. It’s especially applicable if you have a highly intelligent, high achieving daughter. You could probably listen to this book every year of your daughter’s teenage years and hear something that is freshly appropriate. I highly recommend this book!

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A Must Read

This is a horror book like no other. The book was recommended to me but the Head of School of a private school and I must say that I was not prepared for what I was about to learn. However, it was refreshing to know that there are ways to help my daughter navigate through these sometime unsettling moments in their lives. My daughter is a pre-teen so she has not encountered some things that were touched on but I will have a better approach to dealing with them should they happen.

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Important Source for Teens and Their Parents

This book is a great resource for parents or anyone closely connected with teen girls. While there were specific pieces of counsel that personally don’t align with our family values, overall u believe what she had to offer is based on lived personal and professional experiences. Everyone can glean something from it. As a woman of color, I truly appreciate the chapter on the tailings off prejudice and discrimination.

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Incredibly Insightful

I will be referring to this book for advice for years to come. Full of grounding and eye opening insight this book is full of wonderful advice to help girls navigate their way through school, social lives and family.