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"The need has never been more pressing..."

At our office we talk a lot about emotional intelligence in children and adults. We talk a lot about the increased rate of children needing help to regulate their emotions. Recently, I read a book by John Gottman, and Daniel Goleman, which had this very disturbing quote in the beginning of the book.  They offer this paragraph to explain the need for their book.

The need may never have been more pressing. Consider the statistics. Over the last few decades the number of homicides among teenagers has quadrupled, the number of suicides has tripled, forcible rapes doubled. Beneath headline-grabbing statistics like these lies a more general emotional malaise. A nationwide random sample of more than two thousand American children, rated by their parents and teachers— first in the mid-1970s and then in the late 1980s— found a long-term trend for children, on average, to be dropping in basic emotional and social skills. On average, they become more nervous and irritable, more sulky and moody, more depressed and lonely, more impulsive and disobedient— they have gone down on more than forty indicators. Behind this deterioration lie larger forces.
Gottman, John; Goleman, Daniel (2011-09-20). Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child . Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I think the reasons for this are probably rather big and far reaching, but the statistics are cited in the book and ring true based on our experience in our office. What do you think? What are the "larger forces" they write about? 

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