Review of Under Pressure

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  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening
  • Insider's Take


Anxiety is a part of life, but psychologist and child development expert Lisa Damour noticed it skyrocketing among young girls. Selfie-obsessed culture, cyberbullying and ruminating over slights – as well as the more traditional anxieties about appearance and living up to parental expectations – take their toll on girls. Damour provides a useful, detailed, workable guide for parents who want to help their daughters cope with anxiety and stress as they learn to handle the emotional minefield of adolescence. She provides illustrative case studies, though truly anxious parents may wish to seek additional information.

About the Author

Clinical psychologist Lisa Damour also wrote the New York Times bestseller Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood.


Between 2005 and 2014, the number of female teens reporting nervousness and fearfulness jumped 55%.

Damour begins by recognizing that some stress is healthy and that human survival requires it. She cites, for example, how the stress of meeting challenges or standing up to bullies extends your capacity as a human being. Healthy stress helps young girls develop resilience, confidence and strength.

With guidance, Damour explains, girls can learn to manage stress. However, stress is unhealthy when it overwhelms you. Everyone’s tolerance differs. Psychologists divide stress into three categories: life events, daily hassles and chronic stress. Life events, like illnesses, bring on the stress of adapting to a new normal. Even positive change can bring stress.

More on this topic

Coping with Anxiety
Freedom from Anxious Thoughts & Feelings
Mastering Adulthood
Say Less, Get More

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