I recently attended the annual clinical meeting of my favorite medical society, the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecologists (NASPAG). The conference brings together leaders and providers in the field of pediatric and adolescent health care for girls- gynecologists, pediatricians, adolescent medicine specialists, reproductive endocrinologists, educators and mental health experts- and is a conference to which I always look forward and from which I always gain much.
One of the many excellent speakers this year was Lisa Damour, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist whose special interest and expertise is adolescent girls. She talked about the normal stages of teenage development in girls and how a better understanding of those stages helps to 'untangle' these young girls in their transition between childhood and adulthood.
In her book 'Untangled', she elaborates on the stages of emotional development of a girl during puberty and adolescence, the difficulties she faces in this process, and the impact of these challenging years on relationships with family, friends, and others. Through a better understanding of the process we come to understand the young woman and our perception of her turbulent mood and behavior.
Dr. Damour's insight into the normal process of growth towards independence and adulthood is enlightening, and her book is one I would highly recommend to parents and providers of developing young women.