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In other writings and her speeches, Stepp has explored the spectacularly cruel way in which some adolescent girls treat each other, and coined the now-popular phrase “Gamma Girls” for those who succeed at school by staying out of the popularity games. She has examined why increasing numbers of young men don’t go to college, and looked at other young men who turned their lives around with the help of religion.

Stepp received her B.A. degree from Earlham College, which named her alumna of the year, and her M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has twice been a resident scholar at the National Academies of Science, and the latest research on adolescence informs her writing and speeches

She served as a member of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy People 2000 Panel on Adolescence, and has been a frequent public speaker around the country at events including the White House Conference on Raising Responsible Teenagers, the Wingspread Conference on Marriage and Young Adults, and numerous colleges, middle and high schools and parent organizations. She has been interviewed on NBC's Today Show, Weekend Today, ABC’s Nightline, CNN, and NPR, among other venues. She is a member of the board of advisors of the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland.

She and her husband Carl live in Arlington, Va. They have three children.
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