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American expert praises NZ as one of the last countries not 'over-protecting' kids

American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt says social media and over-parenting is creating a generation of coddled kids - but New Zealand seems to be somewhat bucking the worldwide trend.

He said on TVNZ1's Q+A the trend correlates with social media. 

"What we find is if you look at rates of depression and anxiety, and you plot that by birth year, is that kids born in 1996 and after have much higher rates of anxiety and depression.

"It's not just because they're more comfortable talking about it," he said, saying there were higher rates of self-harm and suicide in the US.  

"Things go haywire beginning around 2012, 2013, just for kids born in Gen Z. 

"Social media is probably the biggest single factor...The other factor is in the US we freaked out in the 1990s about the safety of our kids. 

"We started overprotecting them... In New Zealand, you don't do that, you seem to be the last country in the English speaking world that is not really over protecting its kids."

Watch the full interview in the video above. 

Source: TVNZ

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Jonathan Haidt says it's creating a generation of coddled kids. Source: Q+A