In some ways, today is the best time in history to be a girl. Opportunities for success are seemingly unlimited, yet an alarm is sounding, revealing a disturbing portrait of the stresses affecting girls of all ages.
Societal expectations, cultural trends, and conflicting messages are creating what internationally recognized psychologist and researcher Dr. Stephen Hinshaw calls a "triple bind": girls are to fulfill the traditional "girl" expectations (look pretty, be nice, get a boyfriend, excel at empathy, cooperation, nurturance, relationship building), succeed at "boy" goals (get straight As, be a super athlete, win acceptance at a top college), and be skinny, sexy, and "hot" (with all the alternatives - beatnik, tomboy, intellectual, hippie, punk, goth) having been co-opted, consumerized, and forced into a single narrow definition of "sexy").
This triple bind is putting more and more girls at risk for depression, suicide, self mutilation, eating disorders, and aggression.
Based on his thirty
years of experience with teens and his extensive research in a long-term study with adolescent girls, Dr. Hinshaw shares his insights and provides practical and healthy solutions covering biological factors, psychological factors, and peer/community factors.
Hinshaw's main interests lie in the fields of clinical child and adolescent psychology and developmental psychopathology. Major themes of his work include the diagnostic validity of childhood disorders, the role of peer relationships in normal and atypical development (particularly ADHD), the utility of identifying subcategories of aggressive behavior, the early prediction of behavioral and learning problems, the neuropsychology and neurobiology of impulsive and externalizing behavior in childhood, the contribution of family factors to externalizing behavior, expressions of psychopathology in female samples, and the implementation of combinations of psychosocial and pharmacologic intervention for children with externalizing behavior disorders with strong emphasis on moderators and mediators of outcome.
Increasingly, his research interests are focusing on adolescent and young adult outcomes, as the children in his various projects continue to participate in prospective, longitudinal studies. In addition, his research program has a new area of focus, on the stigmatization of mental illness.