Monthly Article Archives: June 2004

Hardwired to Connect: Nurturing “Authoritative Communities” – Part IIRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

This is my last article until September. I hope the next few months prove relaxing for you. I also hope that given the theme of this article, you will spend some time during these months to reflect upon the connections that exist in your life and ways to strengthen these connections and build new ones. In last month’s article I discussed a thought-provoking report that was recently released, “Hardwired to Connect: The New Scientific Case for Authoritative Communities.” The report, which was prepared by the Commission on Children at Risk, a group comprised of 33 prominent children’s doctors, researchers, and mental health and youth service providers, details the deteriorating mental and behavioral health of children in the United States. The Commission contends, “In large measure, what’s causing the crisis of American childhood is a lack of connectedness. We mean two kinds of connectedness—close connections to other people, and deep connections to moral and spiritual meaning.” The Commission observes that while research from the fields of neuroscience and basic biology indicate that children are “hardwired to connect” to other people and for moral meaning in their lives, “in recent decades, the U.S. social institutions that foster these two forms of connectedness

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