​Parents Under Pressure
​ Released March, 2019
HOW DO FAMILIES grapple with disability, mental health, poverty, racism or opioid addiction? How well does America’s infrastructure of care meet their needs? Parents Under Pressure: Struggling to Raise Children in an Unequal America renders unforgettable portraits of six overburdened families. From fractured support systems to well-intentioned but underfunded agencies, the stories lay bare flawed social structures and expectations. Couched in a rich account of how American parenting ideals and public support systems have evolved over time, Parents Under Pressure ​offers a panoramic view of where we are today, how we got here and how we might do better.

​​​​​​​​​In recognition of the families and professionals who gave their time and stories to this project, all author proceeds will be donated to charities that aid parents and youth.

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​ Endorsements
​​​​​​​“For those who experience adversity, poverty, mental health challenges, the relentless strain of racism, or chronic health conditions, the everyday tasks associated with parenting can be overwhelming. Karen Zilberstein offers a window into the lives of vulnerable families who struggle to find the formal and informal resources they need. Her rich storytelling, blended with her command of research and policy, help the reader see parenting in the United States in its stark, sober reality.”
— Jill Duerr Berrick, Ph.D., Zellerbach Family Foundation Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, author of The Impossible Imperative

“Karen Zilberstein puts a human face on what the labyrinth of disconnected services, overwhelmed and judgmental providers and under resourced school systems do to struggling families. But Parents Under Pressure is also a tribute to resiliency in the face of overwhelming odds. It challenges us both to repair a broken system and create communities that support children and families. I won't forget these families. I won't forget this book.”
— Kathy Harrison, author of Another Place at the Table and One Small Boat, named one of People magazine's Heroes Among Usfor her work as a foster mother to over 150 children

“Parents Under Pressure highlights how personal, familial, societal and economic pressures thwart parents long before their child's birth. In vivid case histories, research on parenting is interwoven to support a critique of inadequate economic and mental health supports. This work brings to light dwindling public services and supports for our most vulnerable—and the costs to individuals and their families, as well as to all of us as a society.”
— Bryna Siegel, Ph.D., Executive Director, Autism Center of Northern California, Retired Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of California at San Francisco, and author of The Politics of Autism