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Jonathan Haidt’s Way Forward for an Anxious Generation

When it comes to building communities that nurture the next generation, it’s hard to identify a universal standard for success. But as social psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt looks at the trends among today’s children, he sees both common concerns and shared opportunities to address them.

On this episode of The Russell Moore Show, Haidt and Moore discuss the alarming rates of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents, which Haidt explores at length in his new book The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness. Haidt and Moore consider the factors that lead to childhood mental health crises, including access to iPhones and social media. They talk about the ways that the Covid-19 pandemic affected (and didn’t affect) young people. And they look back on the last several decades of American history, during which parents have increasingly treated raising children like a school project or professional endeavor.

While much of their discussion outlines the challenges young people face today, Haidt and Moore’s conversation hinges on hope. They propose meaningful opportunities for cultivating good mental health, confidence, and a sense of purpose in children and adolescents. And they encourage all who are investing in the next generation with practical advice for healthy homes and communities.

Resources mentioned in this episode include: 

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“The Russell Moore Show” is a production of Christianity Today

Executive Producers: Erik Petrik, Russell Moore, and Mike Cosper

Host: Russell Moore

Producer: Ashley Hales

Associate Producers: Abby Perry and McKenzie Hill

Director of Operations for CT Media: Matt Stevens

Audio engineering by Dan Phelps

Video producer: Abby Egan

Theme Song: “Dusty Delta Day” by Lennon Hutton

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).