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VIDEO: The Decline of Play and Rise of Mental Disorders (Dr. Peter Gray)

Dr. Peter Gray

Dr. Peter Gray is the author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life and was a featured keynote speaker at last year's AERO conference.

In this compelling talk, Dr. Gray brings attention to the reality that over the past 60 years in the United States there has been a gradual, but overall dramatic, decline in children's freedom to play with other children, without adult direction. Over the same period, there has also been a dramatic increase in anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness, suicide, and narcissism in children and adolescents. Based on his own and others' research, Dr. Gray documents why free play is essential for children's healthy social and emotional development and outlines steps through which we can bring free play back to children's lives.