The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids

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9780060595852: The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids

In recent years, numerous studies have shown that bright, charming, seemingly confident and socially skilled teenagers from affluent, loving families are experiencing epidemic rates of depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders—rates higher than in any other socioeconomic group of American adolescents. Materialism, pressure to achieve, perfectionism, and disconnection are combining to create a perfect storm that is devastating children of privilege and their parents alike.

In this eye-opening, provocative, and essential book, clinical psychologist Madeline Levine explodes one child-rearing myth after another. With empathy and candor, she identifies toxic cultural influences and well-intentioned, but misguided, parenting practices that are detrimental to a child's healthy self-development. Her thoughtful, practical advice provides solutions that will enable parents to help their emotionally troubled "star" child cultivate an authentic sense of self.

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About the Author:

Madeline Levine, PhD, is a clinician, consultant, and educator; the author of the New York Times bestseller The Price of Privilege; and a cofounder of Challenge Success, a project of the Stanford School of Education that addresses education reform, student well-being,and parent education. She lives outside San Francisco with her husband and is the proud mother of three newly minted adult sons.

From Scientific American:

Wandering among suburban estates, sports clubs and prep schools are overlooked children of a perplexed generation. Their lives overflow with abundance and praise, yet ironically, the mask of apparent health and success may hide a gloomy world of emptiness, anxiety and anger. Strangely, argues Madeline Levine, a clinical psychologist practicing in Marin County, California, the nation’s latest group of at-risk kids comes from affluent, well-educated families. Despite advantages, these children experience disproportionately high rates of clinical depression, substance abuse, anxiety, eating disorders and self-destructive (even self-mutilating) behaviors, according to various studies. Based on criteria from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Levine says these children "are exhibiting epidemic rates of emotional problems beginning in junior high school and accelerating throughout adolescence." One may brush off these youngsters as overindulged products of wealthy, narcissistic parents. But Levine says many of these kids are really ill. They suffer from a weak sense of self, often struggling to fill inner emptiness with objects and praise. Too often they know something is wrong and grope desperately for help yet fail to escape a downward spiral. Could it be, Levine wonders, that privilege, high expectations, competitive pressure and parental overinvolvement yield toxic rather than protective effects? Levine explores such issues as social isolation, the fine line between parental underinvolvement and overindulgence, and the perverse role of money and material goods in creating false promises of fulfillment. Yearning for outward approval, adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the delusion that wealth causes happiness. In many cases, a rude awakening occurs only after many years of anxiety and depression. Levine’s writing is surprisingly reflective and interesting. A constructive therapist, she offers practical guidelines and parenting strategies for those struggling with troubled teens. The advice is useful to any parent of any income level and includes ways to foster healthy autonomy, impulse control and sense of self. Levine emphasizes the importance of discipline, monitoring and limit setting as ways to encourage kids to construct healthy "inner" homes. More important, parents must "stand on their own two feet" before expecting their children to stand on theirs—noting that many parents scold their children for social behaviors that they themselves cannot manage, such as substance abuse and lack of self-discipline or self-assertion. Parents must strive to get their own inner homes in order before they can expect kids to straighten out theirs.

Richard Lipkin

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Madeline Levine has been a practicing psychologist for 25 years, but it was only recently that she began to observe a new breed of unhappy teenager. When a bright, affluent 15-year-old girl, a seemingly unlikely candidate for emotional problems, came into her office with the word empty carved into her left forearm, Levine was shaken. The girl and her cutting seemed to personify a startling pattern Levine had been observing among her teenage patients, all of them bright, affluent, and clearly loved by their parents. Behind a veneer of strength, many of them suffered extreme emotional problems: depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. What was going on?Meticulous research confirmed Levine s worst suspicions. Privileged adolescents nation-wide are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems, more than children from any other socio-economic group, including those in dire poverty. The various strands of this perfect storm - materialism, pressure to achieve, and parental difficulties with attachment and separation - point to a crisis in America s culture of affluence, a culture that is as unmanageable for children as it is for their parents, particularly their mothers.While many privileged kids have the ability to make a good impression, alarming numbers lack the basic foundation of psychological development - the self. They are bland, disinterested, uncreative, and most of all unhappy. And their parents often fail to see that anything is wrong. A controversial look at privileged families, this book disposes of the overparenting paradigm now in vogue, exploding one child-rearing myth after another. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780060595852

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Madeline Levine has been a practicing psychologist for 25 years, but it was only recently that she began to observe a new breed of unhappy teenager. When a bright, affluent 15-year-old girl, a seemingly unlikely candidate for emotional problems, came into her office with the word empty carved into her left forearm, Levine was shaken. The girl and her cutting seemed to personify a startling pattern Levine had been observing among her teenage patients, all of them bright, affluent, and clearly loved by their parents. Behind a veneer of strength, many of them suffered extreme emotional problems: depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. What was going on?Meticulous research confirmed Levine s worst suspicions. Privileged adolescents nation-wide are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems, more than children from any other socio-economic group, including those in dire poverty. The various strands of this perfect storm - materialism, pressure to achieve, and parental difficulties with attachment and separation - point to a crisis in America s culture of affluence, a culture that is as unmanageable for children as it is for their parents, particularly their mothers.While many privileged kids have the ability to make a good impression, alarming numbers lack the basic foundation of psychological development - the self. They are bland, disinterested, uncreative, and most of all unhappy. And their parents often fail to see that anything is wrong. A controversial look at privileged families, this book disposes of the overparenting paradigm now in vogue, exploding one child-rearing myth after another. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780060595852

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Madeline Levine has been a practicing psychologist for 25 years, but it was only recently that she began to observe a new breed of unhappy teenager. When a bright, affluent 15-year-old girl, a seemingly unlikely candidate for emotional problems, came into her office with the word empty carved into her left forearm, Levine was shaken. The girl and her cutting seemed to personify a startling pattern Levine had been observing among her teenage patients, all of them bright, affluent, and clearly loved by their parents. Behind a veneer of strength, many of them suffered extreme emotional problems: depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. What was going on?Meticulous research confirmed Levine s worst suspicions. Privileged adolescents nation-wide are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems, more than children from any other socio-economic group, including those in dire poverty. The various strands of this perfect storm - materialism, pressure to achieve, and parental difficulties with attachment and separation - point to a crisis in America s culture of affluence, a culture that is as unmanageable for children as it is for their parents, particularly their mothers.While many privileged kids have the ability to make a good impression, alarming numbers lack the basic foundation of psychological development - the self. They are bland, disinterested, uncreative, and most of all unhappy. And their parents often fail to see that anything is wrong. A controversial look at privileged families, this book disposes of the overparenting paradigm now in vogue, exploding one child-rearing myth after another. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780060595852

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