Deterioration of local community a major driver of loss of play-based childhood

The Anxious Generation by Jon Haidt explains the decline in teen mental health over the years, linking it to the loss of local community, trust, and social capital. Authors like Robert Putnam and Jean Twenge delve into the impact of changing communication technology, such as the rise of television and smartphones. The book explores how conservative religious communities seem less affected by the mental health crisis, attributing their resilience to the strong sense of community and shared beliefs that bind them together. The rise of smartphones and social media has transformed childhood experiences, leading to increased anxiety and depression among adolescents. Religious conservative teens stand out for their stronger real-world social interactions and community engagement, offering some protection against mental health issues.

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