Anxiety, depression, and their dangerous manifestations-substance abuse, eating disorders, self-injury and suicide- are increasing student conditions at many competitive high schools. Paradoxically, most of these schools promote themselves as being committed to students’ holistic development in academics, athletics and the arts, and in their personal, social, and emotional growth. So why are so many students struggling? Dr. Gleason has investigated these concerns in competitive high schools throughout the United States and around the world, and has found almost complete unanimity in how educators and parents have responded to his interviews. In sum, these caring and dedicated adults fully admit to overscheduling, overworking and, at times, overwhelming their students and teenaged children. This conflict – adults wanting to educate and parent adolescents in healthy and balanced ways, but simultaneously, overscheduling, overworking and, at times, overwhelming them – is at the heart of this book.
In At What Cost?, Dr. David Gleason recruits educators and parents to more empathic ways of operating that not only respect adolescent’s true developmental capacities but also don’t interfere with their growth trajectories or threaten their mental health.