Access to money and pressure to succeed are challenges for affluent kids, psychologists say
Wealthy kids more likely to suffer drug and alcohol abuse, depression and anxiety than national average, per research
Most people had probably never heard the term “affluenza” until Ethan Couch’s legal team used it as a defense in his trial for driving drunk and killing four people in Texas. And, judging by the robust online conversations, most think the claim that Couch was so spoiled by his parents that he didn’t grow up with boundaries and realize the consequences of his actions was a ridiculous argument for why he shouldn’t be held accountable for his crimes.
Couch’s decision to head to Mexico, a violation of his 10-year probation sentence, accompanied by his mother has only heightened the criticism of him and his upbringing.
But psychologists around the country say there is something here that society should not overlook: There is growing evidence that children of the affluent are becoming “increasingly troubled, reckless and self-destructive,” wrote Suniya Luthar, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University along with Barry Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, in a blog post for Reuters titled “Sometimes ‘poor little rich kids’ are really poor little rich kids.”