Monthly Article Archives: April 2011

“Race to Nowhere”: Stress and Our Youth – Part IRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Recently I had the opportunity to view Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture, a riveting documentary that is receiving much-deserved publicity throughout the United States. Concerned school and community groups have arranged to show this movie as a catalyst for parents, educators, childcare professionals, and community members to engage in a dialogue about the epidemic of unrealistic expectations, pressures, and stresses that are confronting todays youth. I watched the movie with hundreds of others at the Charles River School in Dover, Massachusetts and then served as the moderator for the lively discussion that followed. Vicki Abeles is the documentarys creator and director. She writes that Race to Nowhere was created by a series of wake-up calls that made me look closely at the relentless pressure to perform that children face today. Abeles is very open about her experiences with her own children that prompted her to examine the increasing rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, and cheating among youth in all of our communities. I saw the strain in my children as they navigated days filled with school, homework, tutoring, and extracurricular activities. But it wasnt until the crisis of my 12-year-old daughter being diagnosed with stress

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