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Old 11-26-2015, 06:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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That morning the school district’s superintendent, Glenn “Max” McGee, called Kim Diorio, the principal of the system’s other public high school, Palo Alto High, to warn her, “This is going to hit everyone really hard.” McGee was new to the district that year, but he’d known the history when he took the job. The 10-year suicide rate for the two high schools is between four and five times the national average. Starting in the spring of 2009 and stretching over nine months, three Gunn students, one incoming freshman, and one recent graduate had put themselves in front of an oncoming Caltrain. Another recent graduate had hung himself. While the intervening years had been quieter, they had not been comforting. School counselors remained “overwhelmed and overloaded” with an influx of kids considered high risk, says Roni Gillenson, who has helped oversee Gunn’s mental-health program since 2006. Twelve percent of Palo Alto high-school students surveyed in the 2013–14 school year reported having seriously contemplated suicide in the past 12 months.
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In the late 1990s, when she was an assistant professor in Yale’s psychiatry department, Suniya Luthar was doing research at an inner-city school in Connecticut. She wanted to know whether misbehavior correlated more with poverty or with a stage of adolescence. She needed a second school to use as a comparison. An undergraduate student she worked with had connections at a school in a Connecticut suburb that was more upscale, and Luthar got permission to distribute her surveys there. The results were not what she expected. In the inner-city school, 86 percent of students received free or reduced-price lunches; in the suburban school, 1 percent did. Yet in the richer school, the proportion of kids who smoked, drank, or used hard drugs was significantly higher—as was the rate of serious anxiety and depression. This anomaly started Luthar down a career-long track studying the vulnerabilities of students within what she calls “a culture of affluence.” I called Luthar, now a professor at Arizona State University, in March to find out whether the anxiety she was recording amounted to familiar teenage angst or something more serious. As it happened, she was about to fly to Palo Alto. A meeting on adolescents and suicide, hosted by Stanford’s psychiatry department, had been organized in a hurry. Earlier that month a fifth kid had killed himself, Byron Zhu, a 15-year-old sophomore at Palo Alto High. He had walked in front of an early-morning northbound train. The police were still at the scene when kids were biking to school that morning; the principal, who had rushed over, asked the police to put up a special barrier so they wouldn’t see.

What disturbs Levine most is that the teenagers she sees no longer rebel. They have no sense of agency.
Luthar had been invited to give a presentation on affluent youth as a largely unrecognized at-risk group. Convincing people that rich kids are at high risk isn’t easy, she said. But she has amassed the most thorough data set we have on that group, from schools scattered across the country. Luthar’s data come from school districts where families have median incomes of more than $200,000, and private schools where tuition is close to $30,000 a year. Her research suggests a U‑shaped curve in pathologies among children, by class. At each extreme—poor and rich—kids are showing unusually high rates of dysfunction. On the surface, the rich kids seem to be thriving. They have cars, nice clothes, good grades, easy access to health care, and, on paper, excellent prospects. But many of them are not navigating adolescence successfully.


The rich middle- and high-school kids Luthar and her collaborators have studied show higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse on average than poor kids, and much higher rates than the national norm. They report clinically significant depression or anxiety or delinquent behaviors at a rate two to three times the national average. Starting in seventh grade, the rich cohort includes just as many kids who display troubling levels of delinquency as the poor cohort, although the rule-breaking takes different forms. The poor kids, for example, fight and carry weapons more frequently, which Luthar explains as possibly self-protective. The rich kids, meanwhile, report higher levels of lying, cheating, and theft.
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Since Levine wrote The Price of Privilege, she’s watched the stress in the Bay Area and in affluent communities all over the country become more pervasive and more acute. What disturbs her most is that the teenagers she sees no longer rebel. A decade ago, she used to referee family fights in her office, she told me, where the teens would tell their parents, “This is bad for me! I’m not doing this.” Now, she reports, the teenagers have no sense of agency. They still complain bitterly about all the same things, but they feel they have no choice. Many have also fallen prey to what Levine calls a “mass delusion” that there is but one path to a successful life, and that it is very narrow. Adolescents no longer typically identify parents or peers as the greatest source of their stress, Levine says. They point to school. But that itself may suggest a submission of sorts—the unquestioned adoption of parental norms.
From here. Good read on teen suicide and the dark side of parental expectations.
The Suicide Clusters at Palo Alto High Schools - The Atlantic
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are four large towns in my valley. The one I live in is most middle class. Two resort towns are super affluent, one very blue collar with some very low income areas feeding into it. My observations are similar to those stated in the article.


Much higher alcohol, hard drug abuse, lying, cheating, and stealing in the affluent schools.

Some alcohol abuse in the lower income schools. I wonder if a higher percentage of parents with obvious and public alcohol problems would tend to make kids less likely to glorify it.

Not an area with gang influence, weapons not an issue.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe they are just dying to get out of California.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Rich kids are always fawked up. This ain't news.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Bernie will fix that.....
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Bernie will fix that.....


We are all one big fambly now!

Trump will fix it too. He'll send them Asian immigrants back home.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What I notice most is the lack of 'teenage agency' or rebellion. When I was growing up, we would all stay out late, do stuff we shouldn't, and tell our parents to deal with it as we smiled through the ass chewing we would get. The kids around me now just don't do that.

When my kids were in their terrible-twos, I had guessed their teenage years were going to me much worse than they've turned out to be. For the most part, they don't talk back, they don't break the rules--they just disconnect from the world. They go and sit on their beds reading books, or listening to music (and it's not even bad music). I won't dare say it's a product of my parenting. I've been asking for years why they don't hang out with their friends more, or ask to go to parties, or just want to get away from the house. When given the opportunity to do something, they don't seem to take it... No is an acceptable answer to them, and they don't even push for a Maybe.

When my son moved out back in May, one thing I'd hoped was that he'd find a little 'trouble' to get into. Mind you, I don't want the negative stuff, just the stuff I considered normal. Going to coffee shops and staying out late, going to concerts, visiting places that I'd told him he shouldn't go. Instead he's traded his bedroom for his dorm room.

I'd be worried about them if all their friends weren't doing the same thing. In talking to other parents with kids the same age around here, it's the new normal.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well the neighbor kid is not doing any of that. He's crashing cars, getting caught with pot, sneaking out, etc..
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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What I notice most is the lack of 'teenage agency' or rebellion. When I was growing up, we would all stay out late, do stuff we shouldn't, and tell our parents to deal with it as we smiled through the ass chewing we would get. The kids around me now just don't do that.

When my kids were in their terrible-twos, I had guessed their teenage years were going to me much worse than they've turned out to be. For the most part, they don't talk back, they don't break the rules--they just disconnect from the world. They go and sit on their beds reading books, or listening to music (and it's not even bad music). I won't dare say it's a product of my parenting. I've been asking for years why they don't hang out with their friends more, or ask to go to parties, or just want to get away from the house. When given the opportunity to do something, they don't seem to take it... No is an acceptable answer to them, and they don't even push for a Maybe.

When my son moved out back in May, one thing I'd hoped was that he'd find a little 'trouble' to get into. Mind you, I don't want the negative stuff, just the stuff I considered normal. Going to coffee shops and staying out late, going to concerts, visiting places that I'd told him he shouldn't go. Instead he's traded his bedroom for his dorm room.

I'd be worried about them if all their friends weren't doing the same thing. In talking to other parents with kids the same age around here, it's the new normal.

This is interesting to me. Are they nervous because all of the bad stuff on the news about young folks? Is their online life the new real life? Focused on schoolwork and good grades or just disconnected? Other hobbies that involve getting outside?
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Rich kids are always fawked up. This ain't news.
Yea seriously. My parents sent me to private school my whole life (we were middle class, they worked their ass off to put us into the schools) and my class mates were doing drugs in grade school and having 3ways in highschool, and this was in the middle/late 90s. I was a dorky loser so I missed out on all that, which is good I had my fun in college and most of my class mates are either meathead cops or bouncers at strip clubs living in their parents basement still. Winners in highschool, losers in life.

File this under "not news"
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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things are much more public now. They don't want to risk being seen somewhere or with someone that could alter their reputation, or their progress at school.

That is coming from a 17 yr old cousin. Football player, bout to graduate, headed off to college.

Til last summer, he'd never tasted a beer...
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Whod'a thunk. The people who get shit for free are less stressed than those that work for it...
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Meh. They've been killing themselves off for years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Imho, income (or lack of) has nothing to do with it.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Rich People's Problems

Two eleven year olds offed themselves in Northern Colorado in the last week

Blaming social media and bullying

More like Darwin and the pussification of America
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It is never a problem until it affects the wealthy...just sayin
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Meh. They've been killing themselves off for years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Imho, income (or lack of) has nothing to do with it.
^^Obviously didn't read article.

Author talks about that.

I do know of where you speak. I've been on the N. Cheyanne rez. and its fucking bleak—in every way.
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Most (ones that had everything handed to them) of the "rich" kids I grew up with, are now entitled min wage liberals. They seem to expect the gov to pick up where their parents left off.
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Old 11-26-2015, 04:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Ain't none of us getting outa this alive.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Meh, fuck em.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Rich kids just think dad and mom will bail em outta any situation..and that's part of the lifestyle is partying and being the "cool" person.
Suicide..dunno what to say on that.

Low income is influenced by peers, social media, and street "gangstas" around here..and also being "cool" but a different cool then the rich kids.

Middle class is just smokin pot and cruisin through high school these days it seems like.

In high school all I did was stupid shit and lots of burnouts..and drank a bunch of beer at the river and had bunch of bonfires....and destroying couches in front of freight trains and that kinda cool shit.........
High school these days is smokin pot and gettin money and bangin hoes and keepin it "100"

I don't know what I'm talking about, I must sound like Lil Uzi right now
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:51 PM   #22 (permalink)
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What is "100"?
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:08 AM   #23 (permalink)
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What is "100"?
The expression very likely comes from "100 percent," but instead of telling people to "perform 100 percent on everything at all times" (which is quite the mouthful) it evolved into a very simple "keep it 100," and perform as you would if you were aiming to get 100 percent on life.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:51 AM   #24 (permalink)
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This is interesting to me. Are they nervous because all of the bad stuff on the news about young folks? Is their online life the new real life? Focused on schoolwork and good grades or just disconnected? Other hobbies that involve getting outside?
So, the boy showed up yesterday for the holiday and actually acted human for the most part. His visit started off with, "I don't think college is for me right now, and I didn't re-enroll for next semester."

My kids aren't nervous about the 'bad stuff on the news'--we spend too much time at the gun range for that. My daughters are really, really hoping we have a zombie apocalypse. Serious zombies though, they're not real crazy about the threat of further wars whether it be civil or overseas.

The online life isn't much honestly. Compared to us adults, the kids don't use social media. It may be that I monitor their accounts like a hawk, but I don't think so. Their friends are pretty reserved as well. They read a lot of ebooks and watch a lot of streaming video.

The thing that gets me most though is the lack of ambition to get their driver's license. My son waited until he was almost 18 to finish up his. And then after getting it, he'd drive to school and home, and occasionally stop at Sonic. When he was home, that was it, the car stayed parked the rest of the evening. My daughter started her driving courses the day after her 15th birthday. She's had a learner's permit and drives regularly with us since then, but has never gone back in to get the actual license. She turns 18 in June. Only 3 of her guy friends have their license, and she's the only girl that even has her permit.

At first I thought it was a car issue--so I fixed it by buying cars. The boy didn't want to drive a truck and bought a Honda Civic with his birth mom's help. I still have 5 vehicles, but only two licensed drivers in the house.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:07 AM   #25 (permalink)
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The thing that gets me most though is the lack of ambition to get their driver's license. My son waited until he was almost 18 to finish up his. And then after getting it, he'd drive to school and home, and occasionally stop at Sonic. When he was home, that was it, the car stayed parked the rest of the evening. My daughter started her driving courses the day after her 15th birthday. She's had a learner's permit and drives regularly with us since then, but has never gone back in to get the actual license. She turns 18 in June. Only 3 of her guy friends have their license, and she's the only girl that even has her permit.

At first I thought it was a car issue--so I fixed it by buying cars. The boy didn't want to drive a truck and bought a Honda Civic with his birth mom's help. I still have 5 vehicles, but only two licensed drivers in the house.
When we were kids thats how we got to talk to our friends. Either call and pray thier parents don't answer the phone or drive. Now there are a million different ways to be in contact.
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