Hara Estroff Marano is an author, journalist and editor who,
although not a trained psychologist herself has been Editor-at-Large of Psychology Today
for the past 15 years, in addition to writing for
many other publications such as The New York Times and The Smithsonian.
She writes a regular advice column for Psychology Today called "Unconventional
Wisdom" and is the author of A Nation of Wimps and two previous books, the most recent on the social
development of children, Why Doesn't Anybody Like Me?: A Guide to Raising
Socially Confident Kids (1998).
In 2001, she created Psychology Today's "Blues Buster", a print newsletter that was the first publication to identify and document the mental health crisis on America's college campuses. As a result of her reporting she was invited to join the groundbreaking Bringing Theory to Practice Project. Funded by the Engelhard Foundation, it seeks to advance student engagement in learning and civic service as natural means of countering the epidemic of depression and other disorders of disconnection so widespread on American college campuses today. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Haifa in Israel.
The mother of two grown sons, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
This biography was last updated on 08/14/2011.
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Hara Estroff Marano discusses A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting
What makes you think that we're raising a nation of wimps?
I didn't set out to write a book of that title. In 2002, I discovered that record numbers of college students were experiencing serious psychological disorders. Major depression. Panic attacks. Self-mutilation. Eating disorders. Substance use and abuse. I spoke to hundreds of campus counseling center directors and the people manning the front lines in them. The article I wrote, Crisis on the Campus, made news. In 2004, I found that things had only gotten worse. All along, I had been asking why. The folks at the front lines find that today's students lack the most basic coping skills, because growing up they were overprotected, never allowed to mess up or to experience discomfort, never encouraged to take risks. Coping skills come from figuring out ways to deal with uncertainty and life's lumps and bumps. When the lumps and bumps are smoothed out for you, you have no opportunity to learn how to cope. Then, when you leave the protective cocoon of home for college, you feel overwhelmed by the slightest difficulty. So my book evolved from the evidence that ...
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