For the past 30+ years, my work as a clinical psychologist, researcher, author and consultant has converged on one fundamental mission:
Ensuring that today’s students – our children – have not just the technological tools they need as they inherit the AI future, but the tools of our humanity – the empathy, ethics, social and emotional intelligence and DEI competencies they need to survive and thrive in our ever-changing interconnected world.
Since the 2013 publication of her award-winning book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age (a Wall Street Journal Best Nonfiction Book of 2013, since published in Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, and Korean), Dr. Steiner-Adair has consulted internationally to help schools, parent organizations, governmental agencies, corporations and health professionals strengthen the psychological health and wellbeing of students, and minimize the neurological, psychological and social fallout tech poses at each stage of development, pre K-12.
Along with her work as a consultant, Catherine continues to deepen her 30+ year practice as a clinical psychologist working with individuals, couples and families. Her psychotherapy work has moved online since the pandemic.
“A riveting, hugely important book that Sounds an alarm we all must hearken to if we care about our children–and ourselves. Steiner-Adair shows how we’re losing the human connections that are vital to everything that matters in family life. A great book, rooted in massive research, told in vivid, charming, unforgettable narrative, conveying a message of the utmost relevance today.” (Edward M. Hallowell, MD, author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness)
“In her insightful new book, Steiner-Adair reveals how technology and the Internet are fragmenting American families, leaving parents confused and children lonely. Put down your smartphone and read this book!” (Michael Thompson, PhD, author of Raising Cain and It’s a Boy)
“Every parent struggles with the benefits and limitations of a perpetually plugged-in lifestyle. Catherine Steiner Adair with great wisdom, and compassion for our confusion, helps lead us out of this technological thicket. She is a worthy guide, not simply pointing out stumbling blocks but helping us find our way around them.” (Madeline Levine, PhD, author of Teach Your Children Well and The Price of Privilege)
“I absolutely love this book. Dr. Steiner-Adair offers wonderful suggestions for dealing with issues the new tech world has brought upon us–all based on the reassuring premise that the family shapes a child’s brain, mind, body and soul in unique human ways that technology can’t replace.” (Susan Ginsberg EdD, author of Family Wisdom: The 2000 Most Important Things Ever Said about Parenting, Children and Family Life)
“Finally, a book that answers the question parents everywhere have been struggling with: how do we raise happy, creative, caring kids in the age of screens? Drawing on her deep professional experience, Steiner-Adair lays out exactly how technology is changing childhood and family life, and what we parents can do to make our kids’ journey to adulthood healthy and human. The Big Disconnect is not just a smart book, it’s a very wise one.” (William Powers, author of Hamlet’s Blackberry)
“Dr. Steiner-Adair has her finger on the pulse of the social and emotional challenges kids face in today’s 24/7 media culture. Take her insights to heart.” (James P. Steyer, CEO and founder, Common Sense Media)
“A book that should be required reading for all parents….Steiner-Adair offers sound and sympathetic advice regarding this unprecedented ‘revolution in the living room.’” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
Should schools ban smartphones in the classroom? Listen to Catherine talk on WBUR about, “How smartphones alter a student’s ability to focus, stay on task, absorb new information, or their self-control?” Read/Listen Now >>
“The Art and Craft of Teaching Kindergarten: ‘Neuro-Sculpturing’ with Play” – Catherine Steiner-Adair, Clinical Psychologist and Research Associate at Harvard Medical School.
Children and Screens During COVID-19
On Schools and Smartphones
Dr Steiner-Adair has been invited to present at schools and conferences throughout the United States, and in Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East and Asia. Her audiences include students of all ages, educators and mental health professionals, non-profit organizations, industry and corporations, PTAs, YPOs and other leadership organizations, synagogues and clergy groups, camping and youth organizations, retreats and think tanks, and at organizational fundraising events. Read More >>
Talks & Presentations
Dr. Steiner-Adair speaks on a wide range of topics, including child development and parenting, health and well being, psychological risk and resilience, social and emotional intelligence and leadership education, gender equity, media literacy, healthy relationships on and offline and best practices for technology at school and home. Examples include… Read More >>
In the News
"With the tech revolution has come the benefit of affordable screens for everyone. But does that mean everyone should have one, even elementary school-aged children? Are yeshiva day school students,...
PROVIDENCE, R.I., (WJAR) — The great disconnect is getting parents’ attention. Cell phones are meant to connect children to parents and vice versa. In reality, these little devices may have led...
By Kate RopeDecember 6, 2018 "As parents, we often seek to mollify, quell — even extinguish — our children’s anger. Life is busy, we’re moving fast. Anger slows us down. It stresses us out. But...
A HANDBOOK OF INTERVENTIONS AND SPECIAL CHALLENGES
-Ruth Striegel-Moore, Ph.D., Past President, Academy of Eating Disorders
“The strong connection between theory and research, the broad ranging and innovative examples of preventive intervention programs, and the specific recommendations for research and implementation, combine to make this a valuable resource for professionals and students.”
PROTECTING CHILDHOOD AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS IN THE DIGITAL AGE
New York Times (Dwight Garner)
“I will never forget the experience of reading Ms. Steiner-Adair’s book. This is because it physically hurt to turn the pages. It was as if her palm were reaching up from the text to slap me across the face, the way Don Corleone slapped the singer Johnny Fontane in the first “Godfather” movie, telling him to be a man.
“Here’s why: Before she speaks about how to pry our kids away from their phones, tablets and laptops, Ms. Steiner-Adair looks parents quite sternly in the eye…Children, she declares, ‘are tired of being the ‘call waiting’ in their parents’ lives.’
“Her summary of what to say to your kids — it’s on Page 191 — is so good, so State of the Union-like, that I took a photo of it with my iPhone. ”
A WELLNESS PROGRAM TO ADVANCE GIRL
POWER, HEALTH, AND LEADERSHIP
Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and Hunger Pains
“This well-reasoned, carefully researched, and creative approach to teaching girls lifelong wellness could change the world for the Ophelias of America. Its authors offer educators that most useful of gifts―practical, immediate help.”