Suniya Luthar, Ph.D., who spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of parents here in October 2016, will return on Monday, March 5, at 7 p.m. in Wilton High School’s Clune Center. The snow date is March 6 at 10:45.
Luthar is a nationally recognized researcher, who writes and speaks on challenges faced by children of affluence. After her talk in the high school’s Little Theater, the Wilton Youth Council heard from parents asking if Luthar could survey Wilton students about their experiences.
“Dr. Luthar’s message about the pressures facing teens in communities like ours resonated with the audience,” youth council vice president Genevieve Eason said in a press release. The school district was supportive and last November more than 1,200 Wilton High School students participated in a survey.
Luthar will share her findings from that survey on March 5. Information will be shared regarding students’ life experiences in areas such as personal values, empathy and kindness, depression and anxiety, substance use, and relationships with family and friends. She will put those results into the context of national norms to help the community understand students’ level of health and well-being.
“This will help us to identify what we are doing well, and where we can do a better job of supporting our kids’ emotional wellness,” Eason said.
Luthar, is a Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Professor Emerita of Columbia University’s Teachers College. She investigates the challenges facing children of highly educated, professionally skilled parents. While she was on the faculty at Yale University, Luthar conducted a groundbreaking study of students in Westport that found affluent teenagers have the elevated levels of anxiety, depression and substance use most people associate with poverty.
The program is sponsored by Wilton Public Schools, Wilton Youth Council, Wilton Youth Services, and Wilton High School PTSA.