The Corner

Do Tiger Moms Drive Kids to Suicide?

Some readers of my Tiger Mom piece in the Feb. 7 National Review wonder if the kind of intense pressure applied by Amy Chua drives many kids to suicide.

If it did you’d expect to find high suicide rates for young Asian-Americans. The data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control (see table 42 here) shows very high rates for Native Americans, low rates for blacks, and the rest of us (Hispanic, White Non-Hispanic, Asian) much of a muchness.

The actual numbers for 2009 are as follows. This is for the 15–24 age group, numbers per 100,000 of population:




Non-Hispanic White      












Native American



It’s entirely possible that things go differently in the home countries. There are, for example, some sensational rates reported for India here:

The average suicide rate for young women aged between 15 to 19 living around Vellore in Tamil Nadu was 148 per 100,000. This compares to just 2.1 suicides per 100,000 in the same group in the UK.

The etiology of suicide is a very tangled business, though, as I found out when doing an article on it some years ago. To figure out what part is played by Tiger Mom academic-expectation pressures would be a major job of data analysis. Perhaps someone’s done it, though I can’t find a reference. If not, I’ll do it … if someone pays me.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More