Decline of independent children – Mad in America

Childhood anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are on the rise as opportunities for children to be independent have dwindled, according to a new article in The Journal of Pediatrics. The research, led by psychologist Peter Gray from Boston College, used data on adolescent independence from multiple decades and countries to investigate the high incidence of mental health issues, like anxiety and depression, among today’s youth.

Gray and his co-authors observed that children in the 1970s or earlier had far more freedom to roam, play, and engage in activities without adult supervision than children today. They argue that the decline in opportunities for children to participate in independent activities has contributed to the rise in mental disorders. Independent activities can promote mental health by providing immediate satisfaction and building mental resilience to cope with life’s stresses.

“Those of us old enough to have been children in the 1970s or earlier know from experience that children then had far more freedom to roam, play, and engage in various activities independently of adults than do children today. Research has confirmed that our memories are not distorted,” the authors write.

“Our thesis is that a primary cause of the rise in mental disorders is a decline over decades in opportunities for children and teens to play, roam, and engage in other activities independent of direct oversight and control by adults. Such independent activities may promote mental well-being through both immediate effects, as a direct source of satisfaction, and long-term effects, by building mental characteristics that provide a foundation for dealing effectively with the stresses of life.”

The Decline of Independence and Its Toll on Kids’ Mental Health

Author: GreatCosmicMothersUnited

I have joined with many parents affected with the surreal , yet accepted issue of child abuse via Pathogenic Parenting / Domestic abuse. As a survivor of Domestic Abuse, denial abounded that 3 sons were not affected. In my desire to be family to those who have found me lacking . As a survivor of psychiatric abuse, therapist who abused also and toxic prescribed medications took me to hell on earth with few moments of heaven. I will share my life, my experiences and my studies and research.. I will talk to small circles and I will council ; as targeted parents , grandparents , aunts , uncles etc. , are denied contact with a child for reasons that serve the abuser ...further abusing the child. I grasp the trauma and I have looked at the lost connection to a higher power.. I grasp when one is accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like discrimination.. Shame and affluence silences a lot of facts , truths that have been labeled "negative". It is about liberation of the soul from projections of a alienator , and abuser ..

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