International Coddling

The book is called The Coddling of the AMERICAN mind, but does it apply in other countries? So far, we can say with some confidence that the trends we describe in the book are spreading throughout the major English speaking countries, especially the paranoid parenting, overprotection, safetyism, social media immersion, and rising rates of teen depression, anxiety, and self-harm. Here is what we have found so far:

The United Kingdom

  • We are conducting two large literature reviews examining trends in the USA and UK together, one examines mental health trends, the other examines the evidence that social media is a contributor to the rise in teen depression and anxiety disorders. You can get to them, and (if you are a researcher) contribute to them from this page.

Australia 

  • Jon visited Australia in July 2019 and found that most of the trends in The Coddling are indeed coming to Australia, except that the "lucky country" has less political polarization, and its university students mostly live at home and commute, so there is much less political activism than on American campuses. But Aussies are overprotecting their kids, and their teens are increasingly anxious and depressed.

  • See our open-source Google doc analyzing Australian trends here:  The Coddling of the Australian Mind

New Zealand 

  • Jon visited New Zealand in August 2019 and found that most of the trends in The Coddling are indeed coming to New Zealand, except that Kiwis seem far more committed to "free range childhoods" than are Americans, Brits, Canadians or Australians. They also have mostly non-residential universities, and therefore much less political activism on campus. The teen mental health crisis is coming, but seems to be several years delayed compared to the other English speaking nations.

  • See our open-source Google doc analyzing trends in New Zealand here: The Coddling of the Kiwi Mind   

Canada

  • Canadians seem to have caught every aspect of America's disease, except that its politics is less polarized and dysfunctional. But its parents are just as paranoid (despite the very low crime rates), and its teens are just as depressed and anxious. 

  • See our open-source Google doc analyzing trends in Canada here: The Coddling of the Canadian Mind 

Continental Europe

  • As far as we can tell, the Germanic and Scandinavian countries have not fallen for paranoid parenting and overprotection like the English-speaking countries. They still send their kids to "forest schools" and let kids play outside with friends, unsupervised, by age 6. Lower levels of inequality and status anxiety have been credited with taking off some of the pressure that American parents place on children. We will soon be examining mental health trends among European teens.

  • Spain: Jon will visit Madrid and give a public lecture on Sept. 30. See our open-source Google doc analyzing trends in Spain here: The Coddling of the Spanish Mind