The acknowledgment section, as it appears in the book

By: Jonathan Haidt

March 3, 2024


This book was a team effort, so let me start by offering three teammates special awards.

The first goes to Zach Rausch, a young man I hired in 2020 as my general research assistant. Zach shared my passion for applying social psychology to complex social problems. He took the lead on two questions for which I needed answers: What is happening internationally? And what is happening to boys? By the time I started writing this book in the fall of 2022, Zach had become my thought partner and editor. For fourteen months we worked together intensively. He even devoted many late nights and weekends to write what we thought, at the outset, would be a short book. In that time Zach evolved from a second-year psychology grad student into a first-rate researcher and intellectual. I could not have written this book without him.

The second special award goes to Lenore Skenazy. Ever since I read her book Free Range Kids, Lenore has been my parenting muse, and she became a close friend as well. I reached out to Lenore for guidance about what I should say to parents in this book. She filled up a Google Doc with so many great ideas that I invited her to join me in writing chapter 12. And then chapter 11 on schools. And then also chapter 10 on what governments can do. If this book persuades parents, schools, and legislators to give kids more independence, it will be thanks to Lenore’s many years of work on this issue as the president of Let Grow, and her enormous contributions to writing part 4 of this book.

The third special award goes to my editor at Penguin Press, VirginiaSmith. Ginny has guided and improved my writing since 2016, when Greg Lukianoff and I began working with her on The Coddling of the American Mind. Ginny did deep editing on every chapter of The Anxious Generation, and, together with associate editor Caroline Sydney, they made the book come together, despite my difficulty with timeliness.

I am grateful to many other members of the team who played crucial roles in bringing this book into existence. Eli George is a Gen Z writer and intellectual who worked closely with me on the entire project, contributing qualitative research, creative ideas, and superb editing. RaviI yer, my friend and longtime collaborator at, came through with advice and several key paragraphs in chapter 10, on what tech companies and governments can do. Chris Saitta handled all the notes and helped us to understand what boys are going through. Cedric Warny supported Zach in developing the databases needed for this book. Dave Cicirelli, my cool artist friend who did the illustrations for All Minus One, worked his magic again to create the cover of this book.

I sent the manuscript out to dozens of friends and colleagues in the summer of 2023 with a request to find errors and rough spots. Many of them came through and made the book better in a thousand ways. I thank: Trevor Agatsuma, Larry Amsel, Mary Aviles, John Austin, MichaelBailey, Barbara Becker, Arturo Bejar, Uri Bilmes, Samantha Boardman, Dave Bolotsky, Drew Bolotsky, Maria Bridge, Ted Brugman, Mariana Brussoni, Maline Bungum, Rowan Byrne, Camille Carlton, Haley Chelemedos, Carissa Chen, Jim Coan, Grace Coll, Jackson Davenport, Samantha Davenport, Michael Dinsmore, Ashlee Dykeman, Lucy Farey, Ariella Feldman, Chris Ferguson, Brian Gallagher, Peter Gray, Ben Haidt, Francesca Haidt, Max Haidt, Jennifer Hamilton, Melanie Hempe, Alexandra Hudson, Freya India, Andrea Keith, Nicole Kitten, Sena Koleva, Bill Kuhn, Elle Laub, John Lee, Anna Lembke, Meike Leonard, Lisa Littman, Julia Lombard, Mckenzie Love, Sergio A. Lopez, Greg Lukianoff, Joy McGrath, Caroline Mehl, Carrie Mendoza, Jamie Neikrie, Evan Oppenheimer, Pamela Paresky, Yejin Park, Robbie Pennoyer, Maria Petrova, KylePowell, Matt Pulford, Fernando Rausch, Richard Reeves, Jayne Riew, Jeff Robinson, Tobias Rose-Stockwell, Arthur Rosen, Nima Rouhanifard, Sally Satel, Leonard Sax, Rikki Schlott, David Sherrin, Yvette Shin, Daniel Shuchman, Mark Shulman, Bennett Sippell, Ben Spaloss, David Stein, Max Stossel, Jonathan Stray, Alison Taylor, Jules Terpak, Jean Twenge, Cedric Warny, and Keith Winsten.

A few people on that long list rose to the level of super-editor, with detailed comments on every page: Larry Amsel, Grace Coll, Michael Dinsmore, Brian Gallagher, Nicole Kitten, McKenzie Love, Maria Petrova, Jayne Riew, Mark Shulman, and Ben Spaloss.

I am so fortunate to be a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Dean Raghu Sundaram and my department chair, Batia Wiesenfeld, have given me unwavering support in challenging times. Stern’s Business and Society Program is an exciting place to study the ways that business is affecting and sometimes upending society.

My greatest thanks goes to my wife, Jayne Riew, with whom I first dreamed of children, and with whom I now share the joys of watching two of them make ever more ambitious off-base excursions.

Acknowledgments that I failed to include in the hardcover edition but that I will add when I revise the text for the paperback:

I thank Frances Steinberg of Solutions Unlimited (New Zealand) for encouraging me to look beyond my initial focus on social media for teens, and to examine the effects of screen time throughout childhood on executive function; and also for sending me a helpful list of relevant studies.

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