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Alpha Girls: Understanding the New American Girl and How She Is Changing the World

by Dan Kindlon, PhD

Published by Rodale

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Following on the heels of his groundbreaking bestseller Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys comes another important work on adolescents and gender from author Dan Kindlon.

In Alpha Girls: Understanding the New American Girl and How She Is Changing the World, Kindlon takes on the American girl, using startling new evidence based on newly commissioned studies and hundreds of interviews with young girls throughout the country.

In his new book, Kindlon turns on its head the traditional views held by many social scientists that adolescent girls are psychologically disadvantaged compared to their male peers. Instead, Kindlon finds in his research that American girls are by and large outstripping the boys who are their contemporaries in academic terms and in self-esteem levels, and in general increasingly appear to be better equipped to succeed.

In particular, Kindlon identifies what he terms "alpha girls," girls who are especially accomplished: They are often academically superior, athletically gifted and driven, socially engaged, and often have a strongly defined sense of self and of where they would like their lives to take them.

This important new book -- a must-read for parents of girls and boys alike as well as for all those who interact with them -- will forever change the perceptions of those who read and took to heart the precepts of such previous seminal books as Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia. What is it that sets apart these "alpha girls"? Kindlon finds that a strong father-daughter relationship is one of the keys, among many others.

But finally, what Kindlon offers is an insightful, illuminating portrait of the new American girl. 


pub date: 2006-09-05 | hardcover | 9781594862557