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Decline in play has had serious societal consequences

Nicole Cardoza

Although play has lifelong social, physical and moral value, opportunities to play have diminished in recent decades. Factors in the decline of play include increased time spent in school and doing homework, increasingly scheduled time outside school, more pressure to achieve academic success, and greater fear about children’s safety. Today’s children are much more likely to be clinically depressed or anxious than years ago.

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  • Liz Dwyer

    Thanks for sharing. One of the things I've been thinking about quite a bit lately--I think in part because of the George Zimmerman acquittal--is how this fear about children's safety, and not letting them out to play specifically impacts children of color. Last winter NPR did a great two-part piece on kids attending Harper High School in Chicago. (I wrote about it here: and rule number seven for survival is "never go outside." The kids admit to being depressed and lonely. Since kids of color are now the majority of births, the long term implications of this for our society are pretty serious.