From two leading child and adolescent mental health experts comes a guide for the parents of every college and college-bound student who want to know what’s normal mental health and behavior, what’s not, and how to intervene before it’s too late.
“The title says it all...Chock full of practical tools, resources and the wisdom that comes with years of experience, The Stressed Years of their Lives is destined to become a well-thumbed handbook to help families cope with this modern age of anxiety.”
— Brigid Schulte, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of Overwhelmed and director of the Better Life Lab at New America
All parenting is in preparation for letting go. However, the paradox of parenting is that the more we learn about late adolescent development and risk, the more frightened we become for our children, and the more we want to stay involved in their lives. This becomes particularly necessary, and also particularly challenging, in mid- to late adolescence, the years just before and after students head off to college. These years coincide with the emergence of many mood disorders and other mental health issues.
When family psychologist Dr. B. Janet Hibbs's own son came home from college mired in a dangerous depressive spiral, she turned to Dr. Anthony Rostain. Dr. Rostain has a secret superpower: he understands the arcane rules governing privacy and parental involvement in students’ mental health care on college campuses, the same rules that sometimes hold parents back from getting good care for their kids. Now, these two doctors have combined their expertise to corral the crucial emotional skills and lessons that every parent and student can learn for a successful launch from home to college.
“Childhood is disappearing for young adults, with the pressure to perform, the seductions of social media and the fears of an uncertain future, as stress, anxiety and depression are reaching epidemic proportions. I can think of no better guide than The Stressed Years of Their Lives for overwhelmed parents and stressed-out kids for navigating these turbulent times. This is required reading for the college set.” —Brigid Schulte, author of the New York Times bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One has the Time, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, director of The Better Life Lab at New America
“College-related anxiety and pressure on both parents and children begins long before the admissions process, changes and intensifies in college and has been escalating, alarming educators, mental health professionals and, of course, families themselves. Drs. Hibbs and Rostain have battled in this arena with courage, insight and a wealth of professional training and experience. This wonderful book defines and explores the many, varied minefields of the college years with candor and compassion, and provides parents with practical advice and support about what to look for, what to ask and say, and when and how to intervene. Having seen these pressures both as a parent and university president, I am grateful that there is now this long-overdue and extraordinary guide. It should be required reading for all parents.” —Judith Rodin, former Provost of Yale University and President Emerita of the University of Pennsylvania
“When Drs. Rostain and Hibbs tell us that the crisis of mental health on campus is ‘epidemic,’ they know what they’re talking about. They’ve not only studied the problem extensively, they’ve treated it and lived it, and as this measured, compelling, and vitally important book makes clear, they’re not prone to exaggeration. They’ve also proven themselves uniquely adept in moving the conversation from diagnosis to treatment and prevention. This book is a must-read for college administrators, high school counselors, policymakers and above all, parents of students of all ages, who (if they’re like me) will start implementing its insights long before they reach its end. A truly great contribution.” —Judith Warner, Washington Post bestselling author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety
“Hibbs and Rostain have done a great service for parents trying to guide their kids through the transition to adulthood and college life in this high stress world. They’ve written an engaging and accessible book full of common sense guidance and tremendous clinical wisdom. They provide both specific advice about the important issues to consider and what parents and kids can do to be best positioned to address those issues in order to succeed and thrive.” —Victor Schwartz, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at The Jed Foundation and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
“The Stressed Years of Their Lives is an informative, thought-provoking and—perhaps most importantly—conversation-starting curation of mental health information that all parents need to read. With robust research woven throughout deeply compelling stories of real young adults and their families, the book paints a clear picture of the struggles that young adults of today are facing; the way parents, and young adults, and schools can be partners in success; and the message that help is available and there are so many reasons to have hope.” —Alison K. Malmon, founder & executive director of Active Minds
"This is the type of book every parent should read before discussions of college even begin. Packing in just the right amount of statistics and real-world scenarios, two doctors offer sound advice on how parents can better prepare their children for the challenging college years that lie ahead of them."- Kirkus
About the Authors:
B. Janet Hibbs, M.F.T., Ph.D. has held faculty positions for more than 15 years in graduate programs for psychologists and marital and family therapists. She is the author of Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage.
Anthony Rostain, M.D., M.A., is a nationally-recognized expert in child and adolescent psychiatry, and a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).