ASU student's online program helps children of divorce cope


June 1, 2015

Normal life is tricky enough to figure out when you're a kid. But if you're a kid going through your parents' divorce, life can be suddenly full of scary, sad situations that you have no idea how to handle.

“Children of Divorce - Coping with Divorce,” an online program created by an Arizona State University alumnus, aims to equip children with coping strategies to handle those emotional stressors. children lying on floor using laptop computers “Children of Divorce - Coping with Divorce” teaches children ages 11-16 coping strategies to handle their emotions after their parents’ separation. It was created by Jesse Boring, now an ASU alum. Download Full Image

Jesse Boring, program creator and developer, created the program as part of his dissertation at ASU’s Prevention Research Center, now called the REACH Institute.

“Children of divorce aren't different than other kids," Boring said. "But they often have a lot stressful divorce related events to cope with.”

Boring, whose own parents are divorced, researched current programs for children of divorce and what the best practices were for a group format. He then created online modules to teach coping skills to children ages 11 to 16.

“The idea was I can create a program that uses all of the best information we have that we know helps people, and I can put it out to the world where it can get out to people,” Boring said.

Boring, who graduated with a doctorate in clinical psychology, divided his lesson into five modules: feelings and divorce, inside tools, tools for communication, problem-solving, and integrating program skills.

Modules include narration, videos and interactive activities to teach its participants coping skills. Boring said he designed it to mimic how he would respond if he was talking with a child in his office.

“I’d tell them stories about my life to relate to what they’re going through, share my personal reaction to things,” Boring said.

Irwin Sandler, Boring’s adviser and REACH Institute professor, said children are dealing with a variety of stressors during their parents’ divorce, like moving to a new school. Sandler said coping strategies include focusing on positive thoughts vs. negative ones or identifying what is their problem to fix and what they cannot fix, such as a parent’s depression.

“It’s different when kids say, ‘My God, this is terrible, I don’t know how to handle it,’ and try and escape essentially through drugs or acting-out behavior, vs. ‘This is really tough. I know how to handle it,’ ” Sandler said.

The program underwent its clinical trials in fall 2009. Sandler said the randomized control trials involved children receiving Boring’s program or one of two popular children divorce websites. Through their analysis of the study, they found that for every 11 kids who went through the program, one mental-health problem was prevented.

“Kids acquire a sense, ‘I can handle the problems in my life,’ ” Sandler said. “That’s very important, and that translates to [fewer] mental-health problems and a greater sense of efficacy they can move on with.”

The program, which has been used by approximately 100 participants, started out as a free resource for the general public in December 2011. After a year, Boring decided that in order to pay for increased marketing, he would have to put a price tag on the program. Prices range from $29.95 to $49.95, depending on how many children are enrolling. Boring also joined Sandler’s company, Family Transitions – Programs that Work.

The company, an organization created by three ASU professors, helps deliver programs for families experiencing divorce or separation. Boring’s program is one of two programs offered by the company.

Michele Porter, one of the partners of Family Transitions, said both parents and children go through a variety of adjustments with divorce. While parents are figuring out things like financial situations, their children are wondering where they will live, Porter said.

“Kids have questions and sometimes they think it’s their fault, so this program helps them navigate those uncomfortable feelings,” Porter said.

Porter said they’re hoping to make improvements to Family Transitions; they’re applying for a small-business innovation grant and are in the process of commercializing their projects.

Boring also hopes to expand his program into other countries, such as Australia or Great Britain.

“This program can be delivered efficiently, and you can prevent thousands of mental-health problems,” Boring said. “Divorce isn’t just a problem in the United States. It’s a problem all over the world.”

News anchor Charlie Rose to receive Cronkite Award for Excellence from ASU


June 1, 2015

Charlie Rose, the award-winning anchor of “CBS This Morning” and host of the respected late-night talk show on PBS that bears his name, is the 2015 recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, Arizona State University announced today.

Rose will receive the 32nd annual award, given by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at a luncheon ceremony Oct. 19 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Charlie Rose Award-winning journalist Charlie Rose will receive the 32nd annual Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism at a luncheon ceremony Oct. 19 in downtown Phoenix. He is known for his hard-hitting, one-on-one interviews on CBS and “Charlie Rose,” his daily late-night interview program that has been syndicated on PBS for more than 20 years. Photo by: CBS News Download Full Image

“I treasure this honor the way I cherish the life of Walter Cronkite,” Rose said. “What I loved about his life was his passion for all things in life, including sailing. His journalism went far beyond the headlines to include the same range of curiosity I pursue from politics to people, from science to space, and always the story. Whether he was looking back into history or forward into space, he was the constant connection to our world. The fact that this award comes from one of our best journalism schools makes it even more appreciated.”

Rose, a Peabody and Emmy Award winner, is known for his hard-hitting, one-on-one interviews on CBS and “Charlie Rose,” his daily late-night interview program that has been syndicated on PBS for more than 20 years.

“Charlie Rose” premiered in 1991, becoming a popular venue for in-depth conversations on politics, performing arts, literature, film, science, medicine and business. In 2011, he was named anchor of “CBS This Morning,” helping the program become the fastest-growing morning news broadcast in the U.S.

With more than 40 years of broadcasting experience, Rose has interviewed Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, Barack Obama, Yitzhak Rabin and Martin Scorsese, among hundreds of other newsmakers – including Walter Cronkite in 1996. His sit-down with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2013 for “CBS This Morning” won him a Peabody Award for its timely and meaningful look into the face and mind of a tyrant. 

From 1984-1990, Rose worked for CBS News as the anchor of “Nightwatch,” the network’s first late-night news broadcast. He won an Emmy in 1987 for his interview with convicted mass murderer Charles Manson. At CBS News, he also was a correspondent for “60 Minutes II” from 1999-2005.

“CBS News is proud to have Charlie Rose co-hosting ‘CBS This Morning’ each day — and honored that he is receiving this award from ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism,” said CBS News President David Rhodes. “Our core values are the same now as they were when Cronkite anchored the ‘CBS Evening News.’ Charlie Rose embodies those values today.”

Throughout his career, Rose has hosted a number of outside projects, including a special for the Discovery Channel, “One on One with Roger Payne,” for which he won an Emmy in 1992.

Rose entered television journalism full-time as managing editor of the PBS series “Bill Moyers’ Journal” in 1974. He also served as a correspondent for “USA: People and Politics,” a weekly PBS series on the 1976 election, which earned him a Peabody Award. Early in his career, he also served as a correspondent for NBC News in Washington in 1976 and co-hosted a daily talk show for WLS-TV Chicago in 1978.

A native of North Carolina, Rose is a graduate of Duke University with a bachelor's degree in history and a J.D. from Duke’s School of Law.

“For the past 40 years, Charlie Rose has asked the tough questions that impact people around the world,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School and CEO of Arizona PBS. “We are thrilled to honor him and excited for our students, alumni, supporters and friends to meet one of the best in journalism.”

Other Cronkite Award recipients include TV anchors Tom Brokaw, Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer; newspaper journalists Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and Bob Woodward; and media executives Katharine Graham, Al Neuharth and Bill Paley. Cronkite personally presented the award during its first quarter-century. The CBS News anchor died in 2009.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, named in Cronkite’s honor in 1984, prepares the next generation of journalists in both the time-honored fundamentals embraced by Cronkite and the multimedia skills necessary to thrive as journalists in the digital age.

Housed in a $71 million state-of-the-art media complex in downtown Phoenix, the school has been featured in The New York Times, The Times of London and USA Today as a leader in 21st-century journalism education and innovation.

The Cronkite School is the home of Arizona PBS, which serves as a journalistic teaching hospital for hundreds of students who work under 15 full-time faculty at Cronkite News. The news organization includes a nightly television news broadcast on Arizona PBS; digital reporting bureaus in Phoenix, Washington and Los Angeles; a business reporting bureau; an entrepreneurial digital innovation lab; a digital production bureau; a newsgathering and civic journalism bureau; and the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative.

Written by Joe Giordano.

Penny Walker

Senior Editor, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

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