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David Elkind

Advocating for Children

Posted on April 14, 2008

David Elkind (bio) describes how The Hurried Child led to his becoming a child advocate.


I had done a lot of writing, popular writing, for a lot of magazines and journals, for Popular Psychology Today. I had written children’s stories, and I wrote an article about some of the pressures I saw in children. And an editor at Addison Wesley asked me to write a book on this kind of subject, and so I wrote a first draft. And she goes, “No, no, too academic,” and so then I said, “Oh, just do a popular book." And I wrote The Hurried Child in about six weeks during the summer.

It just got a lot of attention, much more than I had expected, and was excerpted in Parade and so on. And suddenly I was on national television, and I was able to deal with media.

Anyway, so then I began doing a lot more lecturing and popular writing and moved away really from the research and began feeling that one of the things I was seeing more and more was that the people who were doing a lot of the negative stuff were getting all the publicity and the positive advocates for children were not getting heard. And so I decided it would be another career shift. I would go on more to being an advocate for children, and that’s what I’ve been doing, although I’ve continued annual research.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2007 SRCD Biennial Meeting in Boston, MA.

Elkind, D. (1981). The Hurried Child. Reading, MA: Perseus Book Group.


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