The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness

by Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D.

This is a “must read” for parents, teachers and school administrators, mental health providers, and anyone else working with children and adolescents.  Jon Haidt is a social psychologist who has devoted the past decade to understanding the collapse of youth mental health.  Using his research and the research of other social psychologists, he has been able to identify the shift from a “play-based childhood” to a “phone-based childhood,” and the ways in which this transition is re-wiring the brains of kids, often with negative or even catastrophic results.  I work with many parents who are concerned and frightened as they watch their kids struggle, yet feel powerless to bring about change, realizing that one parent cannot stand up against the enormous peer pressure their children face to have smart phones and social media accounts.  With this in mind, Haight outlines plans for parent groups, schools and communities to come together, set workable limits for their kids, find manageable ways to protect them when they are online, and restore a healthier, more humane childhood for all our kids.

For up-to-the-moment information on this topic, I would highly recommend Jonathan Haidt’s Substack column, “Beyond Babel,” which features Haight and numerous other experts in the field.  If you subscribe to this newsletter, it will come directly to your inbox. It’s easy, convenient, and an excellent way to introduce yourself to other great minds who are heading up this movement.

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