Tag Archives: Separation Anxiety

What caused “a rising tide of personality disorders among millenials”?

Rioters smash windows at a T-Mobile store during a protest against campus speaker
Rioters smash windows at a T-Mobile store during a protest against campus speaker

That quote about millenials in the title of this post comes from the American Counseling Association.

PJ Media reports: (H/T Curby)

If you were to come across someone who cried in the streets, who saw the world in terms of black and white and made death threats against strangers, who cowered in a special room and made public displays of naked self-harm and blood letting, you might conclude that they were suffering from a personality disorder.

All these symptoms can be found in the High Conflict Personality Disorder category known as Axis II in DSMV, including Anti-Social PD, Histrionic PD, Paranoid PD, Narcissistic PD, and Borderline PD.

[…]In 2014, a survey of 100,000 college students at 53 U.S. campuses by the American College Health Association found that 84% of U.S. students feel unable to cope, while more than half experience overwhelming anxiety.

The problems begin with how the children are raised. As the size and scope of government grew, taxes had to be raised to pay for the “social safety net”. When taxes go up, women can no longer afford to stay home with their young children during the first five years, which are critical to child development. Instead, the moms go out to work to pay for the new social welfare programs. And their children end up in day cares.

Look:

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has found:

Children in full-time day care were close to three times more likely to show behavior problems than those cared for by their mothers at home.

[…]The more time in child care of any kind or quality, the more aggressive the child.

The result is young people who, a decade and a half after daycare, scream at the parent/State for not protecting them sufficiently. It is no coincidence that “safe spaces” resemble daycare centers.

Day cares cause children to have increased anxiety and aggression. It used to be that this would be mitigated as the child grew up and encountered real life. Their narcissism would die because they would have to accept that they were not the center of the universe. They learned that hard work was not fun, and that they had to do things that they didn’t feel like doing in order to survive. But today, things are different – something else is happening to children in public schools and university classrooms.

More:

Faced with histrionic students, university staff end up behaving like “Helicopter Parents”: those largely absent, full-time working parents who overcompensated by flying in to fuss over their child. Attempting to assuage parental guilt, one of the tools they used was “positive parenting” — a philosophy created by social Progressives.

Parents were taught to not scold or punish, and instead to use “positive reinforcement” in an attempt to raise their children with “high self-esteem.” This ideology also became fashionable within an increasingly progressive school system that awarded children prizes for “non-competitive sports” and for merely taking part in school activities.

As they passed from day care to through high school, these children with artificially enforced high self-esteem were also told that they were morally superior to generations that came before. They were inducted into politically correct language and were even taught to lecture their own parents on racism, equality, and ecology. From the ages of six to eighteen, they took part in yearly multiculturalist “save the planet” projects. They were told they had a heroic destiny as “agents of change.”

A false picture of the world and a vastly inflated sense of self-importance did not compensate for the foundational trauma of parental neglect. Instead, as Dr. Jean Twenge has explained, Positive Parenting created young people with a “narcissistic wound” for whom the real world would be perceived as a threat to self-worth.

And this explains why college students today resort to violence when presented with ideas that they disagree with – even if the people are vastly more intelligent and experienced than they are themselves. They don’t care about free speech, because they already know everything. They claim to care about diversity, but they shout down or assault anyone who disagrees with them.

And that’s not the only contradiction:

SJW protests are awash with contradictions. SJWs claim to fight for freedom, but are opposed to freedom of speech, support banning videos and books, and support the violent disruption of public talks, as was seen with the riots at UC Berkeley, Middlebury College, and elsewhere.

SJWs believe in a world with “no boundaries” where “everyone is equal” — free immigration, open access to healthcare and education, etc. — but at the same time are obsessed with creating segregated spaces.

While they protest against the “fascist patriarchal state” they are, at the same time, fundamentally Statist, demanding that the government police language for them and punish their enemies. While SJWs claim to fight for human rights, they parade the symbol of the largest genocides in history — the Communist flag. They are pro-feminist, and at the same time defend Sharia law.

It’s a mess. People like to joke about the zombie apocalypse, but it’s a joke because there is no such thing as a zombie. Except that when I see what the secular left has produced on college campuses, it really does make me think of zombies. Do you think that people with no marketable skills could resist the urge to steal and kill when they find themselves in debt and unable to earn a living with their degree in Marxist-Feminist Studies? Where would a psychotic millennial draw the line? They don’t understand how successful mature people became successful – they only understand that their own failure is not their fault. It’s all the fault of white males, the patriarchy, straights, capitalists, etc. Where does a deluded secular leftist draw the line on violence? Can you expect moral behavior from someone who doesn’t believe in God, and doesn’t believe in personal responsibility?

I think we are going to see a lot more violence from these young leftist psychopaths – especially from the ones being raised without a married mother and father. I think we’re going to see something to rival the most horrifying of zombie apocalypse movies. There isn’t any foundation of empathy or morality inside them – it was never put into them by their own families or the godless schools.

New study: Tennessee pre-K program provides no educational benefit over control group

This is the most thorough study that I have ever seen evaluating the effectiveness of pre-K programs. The study was done by researchers at Vanderbilt University.

The study was reported on by the well-respected but leftist Brookings Institute.

They write:

State investments in center-based school readiness programs for preschoolers (pre-K), whether targeted for poor children or universally implemented, have expanded more rapidly than evaluations of their effects. Given the current interest and continuing expansion of state funded pre-K, it is especially important to be clear about the nature of the available evidence for the effectiveness of such programs. Despite widespread claims about proven benefits from pre-K, there is actually strikingly little credible research about the effectiveness of public pre-K programs scaled for statewide implementation.

Like many states that became interested in scaling up a state funded pre-K program in the early 2000’s, voluntary pre-K (TNVPK) was introduced in Tennessee in 1996 as a way to provide academic enhancement to economically disadvantaged children. It expanded in 2005 to an $85 million-plus statewide investment serving 18,000 Tennessee income-eligible children in 935 classrooms across all 95 counties.

Launched in 2009, the TNVPK Effectiveness Study, a coordinated effort between Vanderbilt’s Peabody Research Institute and the Tennessee Department of Education, is a five-year evaluation study funded by the US Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences. It includes the first randomized control trial of a scaled up state funded pre-K program and the first well-controlled comparison group study of the effects of program participation as children progress through elementary school..

Policymakers and proponents often cite some of the famous early studies of pre-K programs that have shown long term benefits extending into adulthood for the participating children. But those were studies of especially complex programs that are unlike scaled-up public pre-K in many ways. The Vanderbilt study is the first rigorous controlled longitudinal study to be conducted on a large-scale state-funded pre-K program.

And here is a summary of the results:

Standard score results from pre-K through 3rd grade on a composite measure that averaged the six achievement subtests are presented from baseline forward in the graph below.

As is evident, pre-K and control children started the pre-K year at virtually identical levels. The TNVPK children were substantially ahead of the control group children at the end of the pre-K year (age 5 in the graph). By the end of kindergarten (age 6 in the graph), the control children had caught up to the TNVPK children, and there were no longer significant differences between them on any achievement measures. The same result was obtained at the end of first grade using two composite achievement measures (the second created with the addition of two more WJIII subtests appropriate for the later grades). In second grade, however, the groups began to diverge with the TNVPK children scoring lower than the control children on most of the measures. The differences were significant on both achievement composite measures and on the math subtests. Differences favoring the control persisted through the end of third grade.

In terms of behavioral effects, in the spring the first grade teachers reversed the fall kindergarten teacher ratings. First grade teachers rated the TNVPK children as less well prepared for school, having poorer work skills in the classrooms, and feeling more negative about school. It is notable that these ratings preceded the downward achievement trend we found for VPK children in second and third grades. The second and third grade teachers rated the behaviors and feelings of children in the two groups as the same; there was a small positive finding for peer relations favoring the TNVPK children by third grade teachers, which did not meet traditional levels of statistical significance.

Results graph:

TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue
TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue

We are already seeing that cheap daycare in high-tax, big government provinces like Quebec cost a lot, and produce negative results. And of course Hillary Clinton is a longstanding advocate of universal pre-K. As a Senator of New York, she introduced a universal pre-K plan that would cost $10 billion over 5 years. President Barack Obama’s own Preschool for All plan would cost $75 billion over 10 years. This Vanderbilt study should cause us to question whether the policies of the secular left, pushed largely because of emotions and ideology, are worth the tens of billions of dollars they want to take from us. And if you take tens of billions of dollars out of families, then families on the margin will have to give their children to the state to raise. And that includes Christian families, who would no longer be able to afford a stay-at-home mother.

Now, taking children away from parents so that their mothers can work is seen as a worthy goal by those on the secular left. First, communally raising the children is “good” because it removes inequalities between single mothers and traditional working-husband homes. Second, making it easier for women to “go fatherless” is “good” because fathers are not to be trusted to teach their children about morality and religion. That is best left to secular government workers. Third, mothers who choose to marry good providers pay less in taxes if they choose to stay home with their kids and not work. That is “bad” because the government wants more taxes, so they can spend it on vote-buying social programs. Fourth, children who form stable bonds with their parents are less likely to become dependent on the government, meaning their allegiance cannot be bought with government handouts. That is also “bad”. Fifth, it is also “bad” that children who grow up with stay-at-home mothers are more likely to develop empathy and morality, which gives them an independent standard by which to judge the government’s actions.

Related posts

New study: Tennessee pre-K program provides no educational benefit over control group

This is the most thorough study that I have ever seen evaluating the effectiveness of pre-K programs. The study was done by researchers at Vanderbilt University. (H/T Brad Wilcox tweet)

The study was reported on by the well-respected but leftist Brookings Institute.

They write:

State investments in center-based school readiness programs for preschoolers (pre-K), whether targeted for poor children or universally implemented, have expanded more rapidly than evaluations of their effects. Given the current interest and continuing expansion of state funded pre-K, it is especially important to be clear about the nature of the available evidence for the effectiveness of such programs. Despite widespread claims about proven benefits from pre-K, there is actually strikingly little credible research about the effectiveness of public pre-K programs scaled for statewide implementation.

Like many states that became interested in scaling up a state funded pre-K program in the early 2000’s, voluntary pre-K (TNVPK) was introduced in Tennessee in 1996 as a way to provide academic enhancement to economically disadvantaged children. It expanded in 2005 to an $85 million-plus statewide investment serving 18,000 Tennessee income-eligible children in 935 classrooms across all 95 counties.

Launched in 2009, the TNVPK Effectiveness Study, a coordinated effort between Vanderbilt’s Peabody Research Institute and the Tennessee Department of Education, is a five-year evaluation study funded by the US Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences. It includes the first randomized control trial of a scaled up state funded pre-K program and the first well-controlled comparison group study of the effects of program participation as children progress through elementary school..

Policymakers and proponents often cite some of the famous early studies of pre-K programs that have shown long term benefits extending into adulthood for the participating children. But those were studies of especially complex programs that are unlike scaled-up public pre-K in many ways. The Vanderbilt study is the first rigorous controlled longitudinal study to be conducted on a large-scale state-funded pre-K program.

And here is a summary of the results:

Standard score results from pre-K through 3rd grade on a composite measure that averaged the six achievement subtests are presented from baseline forward in the graph below.

As is evident, pre-K and control children started the pre-K year at virtually identical levels. The TNVPK children were substantially ahead of the control group children at the end of the pre-K year (age 5 in the graph). By the end of kindergarten (age 6 in the graph), the control children had caught up to the TNVPK children, and there were no longer significant differences between them on any achievement measures. The same result was obtained at the end of first grade using two composite achievement measures (the second created with the addition of two more WJIII subtests appropriate for the later grades). In second grade, however, the groups began to diverge with the TNVPK children scoring lower than the control children on most of the measures. The differences were significant on both achievement composite measures and on the math subtests. Differences favoring the control persisted through the end of third grade.

In terms of behavioral effects, in the spring the first grade teachers reversed the fall kindergarten teacher ratings. First grade teachers rated the TNVPK children as less well prepared for school, having poorer work skills in the classrooms, and feeling more negative about school. It is notable that these ratings preceded the downward achievement trend we found for VPK children in second and third grades. The second and third grade teachers rated the behaviors and feelings of children in the two groups as the same; there was a small positive finding for peer relations favoring the TNVPK children by third grade teachers, which did not meet traditional levels of statistical significance.

Results graph:

TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue
TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue

We are already seeing that cheap daycare in high-tax, big government provinces like Quebec cost a lot, and produce negative results. And of course Hillary Clinton is a longstanding advocate of universal pre-K. As a Senator of New York, she introduced a universal pre-K plan that would cost $10 billion over 5 years. President Barack Obama’s own Preschool for All plan would cost $75 billion over 10 years. This Vanderbilt study should cause us to question whether the policies of the secular left, pushed largely because of emotions and ideology, are worth the tens of billions of dollars they want to take from us. And if you take tens of billions of dollars out of families, then families on the margin will have to give their children to the state to raise. And that includes Christian families, who would no longer be able to afford a stay-at-home mother.

Now, taking children away from parents so that their mothers can work is seen as a worthy goal by those on the secular left. First, communally raising the children is “good” because it removes inequalities between single mothers and traditional working-husband homes. Second, making it easier for women to “go fatherless” is “good” because fathers are not to be trusted to teach their children about morality and religion. That is best left to secular government workers. Third, mothers who choose to marry good providers pay less in taxes if they choose to stay home with their kids and not work. That is “bad” because the government wants more taxes, so they can spend it on vote-buying social programs. Fourth, children who form stable bonds with their parents are less likely to become dependent on the government, meaning their allegiance cannot be bought with government handouts. That is also “bad”. Fifth, it is also “bad” that children who grow up with stay-at-home mothers are more likely to develop empathy and morality, which gives them an independent standard by which to judge the government’s actions.

Related posts

New study: separating from mother causes children to have higher anxiety and fear

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study.

It says:

We learn to be afraid. One of the oldest discoveries in psychology is that rats will quickly learn to avoid a sound or a smell that has been associated with a shock in the past—they not only fear the shock, they become scared of the smell, too.

A paper by Nim Tottenham of the University of California, Los Angeles in “Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences” summarizes recent research on how this learned fear system develops, in animals and in people. Early experiences help shape the fear system. If caregivers protect us from danger early in life, this helps us to develop a more flexible and functional fear system later. Dr. Tottenham argues, in particular, that caring parents keep young animals from prematurely developing the adult system: They let rat pups be pups and children be children.

Of course, it makes sense to quickly learn to avoid events that have led to danger in the past. But it can also be paralyzing. There is a basic paradox about learning fear. Because we avoid the things we fear, we can’t learn anything more about them. We can’t learn that the smell no longer leads to a shock unless we take the risk of exploring the dangerous world.

Many mental illnesses, from general anxiety to phobias to posttraumatic-stress syndrome, seem to have their roots in the way we learn to be afraid. We can learn to be afraid so easily and so rigidly that even things that we know aren’t dangerous—the benign spider, the car backfire that sounds like a gunshot—can leave us terrified. Anxious people end up avoiding all the things that just might be scary, and that leads to an increasingly narrow and restricted life and just makes the fear worse. The best treatment is to let people “unlearn” their fears—gradually exposing them to the scary cause and showing them that it doesn’t actually lead to the dangerous effect.

Neuroscientists have explored the biological basis for this learned fear. It involves the coordination between two brain areas. One is the amygdala, an area buried deep in the brain that helps produce the basic emotion of fear, the trembling and heart-pounding. The other is the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in learning, control and planning.

Regina Sullivan and her colleagues at New York University have looked at how rats develop these fear systems. Young rats don’t learn to be fearful the way that older rats do, and their amygdala and prefrontal systems take a while to develop and coordinate. The baby rats “unlearn” fear more easily than the adults, and they may even approach and explore the smell that led to the shock, rather than avoid it.

If the baby rats are periodically separated from their mothers, however, they develop the adult mode of fear and the brain systems that go with it more quickly. This early maturity comes at a cost. Baby rats who are separated from their mothers have more difficulties later on, difficulties that parallel human mental illness.

Dr. Tottenham and her colleagues found a similar pattern in human children. They looked at children who had grown up in orphanages in their first few years of life but then were adopted by caring parents. When they looked at the children’s brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging, they found that, like the rats, these children seemed to develop adultlike “fear circuits” more quickly. Their parents were also more likely to report that the children were anxious. The longer the children had stayed in the orphanages, the more their fear system developed abnormally, and the more anxious they were.

Whenever I read books about daycare, the word “anxiety” is the one that seems to be the most common.

It’s important for the mother to stay at home, and plans should be made before the marriage to make that financially feasible. The plans should start for each parent when they are deciding what the study, where to work, and so on. A working mother who puts her child in daycare will have to exercise extra care to make sure that the child is OK. And this becomes even harder to do when her stress levels go up from work. You can’t bond with a child if you can’t stop screaming obscenities and/or being violent because of work stress.

Another risk factor for anxiety is demanding a lot from a child (say, academically) but not taking the steps to monitor daily progress and provide daily assistance. Think of it as a scale from report-card-day tantrums all the way to daily monitoring and helping with homework. The closer the parents are to the report card day tantrums side of things, the more anxiety if is going to cause the child. Yes, it’s important for children to do well in school so that they can get jobs later. But tantrums don’t achieve anything except to scare them away from learning. Daily monitoring and listening is a better way to create the connection that reduces the child’s anxiety.

Mary Eberstadt’s book “Home Alone America”

I thought I would write quickly about Mary Eberstadt’s book “Home Alone America”, which I read a few years back.

Here’s an article from National Review by Stanley Kurtz.

Excerpt:

Up until now, public discussion of issues like day care has been dominated by feminist journalists and academics who take their own career decisions for granted and call on society to make their lives easier: How can I be equal to a man if society won’t give me better day care? Eberstadt strides into this situation and asks a totally different series of questions: Are children any happier in day care than they are with their mothers? If not, should that effect a woman’s career decisions? Are unhappy children who bite and get aggressive or ill in day care growing tougher, stronger, and more ruggedly individualist, or is it we adults who are being coarsened to needs of our children?

[…]Increasingly, we’re medicating children for mental illnesses that barely existed in the past. Take “separation anxiety disorder” (SAD), defined as “developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached.” This syndrome is now said to affect about 10 percent of the nation’s children. One of its symptoms is “refusal to attend classes or difficulty remaining in school for an entire day” — in other words, what used to be called “truancy.”

Are 10 percent of the nation’s children really in need of treatment for SAD, or are most of these children actually behaving more normally than mothers who have little trouble parting from their children for most of the day? Is it surprising that children get SAD in the absence of their parents? As Eberstadt suggests, maybe we need to define a whole new range of disorders: “There is no mental disorder…called, say, preoccupied parent disorder, to pathologize a mother or father too distracted to read Winnie the Pooh for the fourth time or to stay up on Saturday night waiting for a teenager to come home from the movies. Nor will one find divorced second-family father disorder, even though the latter might explain what we could call the ‘developmentally inappropriate’ behaviors of certain fathers, such as failure to pay child support or to show up for certain important events. There is also nothing…like separation non-anxiety disorder to pathologize parents who can separate for long stretches from their children without a pang.”

And here’s an article from National Review by Rich Lowry.

Excerpt:

Eberstadt writes: “Of reported cases of chlamydia in 2000, 74 percent occurred in persons age 15 to 24, and that number is judged to be ‘a substantial underestimate of the true incidence of chlamydia among young people,’ in the words of The Alan Guttmacher Institute. An estimated 11 percent of people age 15 to 24 are infected with genital herpes, and 33 percent of females in the same age group are thought to be infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). This age group is also thought to account for 60 percent of gonorrhea cases. … Of the 18.9 million new STD cases in the United States in 2000, about 9.1 million, or half, were found in people between the ages of 15 and 24.”

[…]Where are many of these kids having sex? In empty homes. A study in the journal Pediatrics of public-school kids found that 91 percent were having sex in a home setting — usually after school, when parents aren’t around. Absent parents are practically an invitation to early sexual initiation. According to Pediatrics, “Youths who were unsupervised for 30 or more hours per week were more likely to be sexually active compared with those who were unsupervised for 5 hours a week or less.”

[…]This is just the beginning of Eberstadt’s distressing catalog:

There has been a dramatic increase in ear infections, technically known as otitis media, in children. Eberstadt quotes a specialist: “Virtually every study ever done on the increase in otitis media has shown that day care is the most important difference.”

According to Eberstadt, “Practically every index of juvenile mental and emotional problems is rising.” Many of these maladies are linked to absent parents. A Department of Health and Human Services report found that “children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems.”

And so on.

A sample chapter is here.

If you’ve never thought about the effects of day care and parent-child separation, you should take a look. I thought that there were places in the book where the argumentation was a bit loose, and evidence was suspect or absent, but it is a good thing to get a different point of view on these issues. My concern is that parents will be all too ready to blame the suffering of the children on “mental problems” caused by “genetics” or “brain chemistry”, rather than give up their two-parents-working lifestyle, and the economic perks that it brings. Frankly, children are a pain, and some parents will prefer to have to deal with grown-ups at work instead of screaming babies at home. Somehow, they feel ashamed for having to take care of children – as if raising children is somehow useless work because the government doesn’t get any tax revenue from it. And the government might encourage parents to keep working even if the children are showing symptoms of anxiety, depression, etc.

Imagine how this works out in a single-payer system, e.g. – Canada. The government wants women to work, so they can get more tax money for taking over more of private businesses and redistributing wealth in more areas to make everyone “equal”. They raise taxes, and now more women must work instead of staying home. Children go into government-run day care centers funded by the government via tax money from working mothers. The day cares educate the children instead of the parents. What happens when the children develop mental problems or behavioral problems? Can the state-run medical system blame the government for forcing women to work? Of course not – the child is somehow to blame, and will have to be medicated. The parents believe this because they do not want to believe that their drive for more material possessions has caused their child any harm. It must be the brain chemicals that are to blame – not the intrusion of government and not the selfishness of the parents.