City of Chandler announces new ASU Chandler Innovation Center

February 7, 2012

Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny has announced a new partnership that will bring a dynamic Arizona State University presence in engineering and technology education and research to downtown Chandler. The news came during the Mayor’s State of the City Address on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the City Council Chambers.

The ASU Chandler Innovation Center is an alliance between the city and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation at the ASU Polytechnic campus. The center will be located at the city’s former public works yard, located at 249 E. Chicago Street.  Download Full Image

“This is a very leading-edge program that ASU has developed and fits perfectly with what we want to accomplish in Chandler,” Mayor Tibshraeny said. “The center will cement Chandler’s reputation as a high-tech center of industry and will provide students and local companies the opportunity to collaborate on new technologies under one roof."

“This is an important step in the evolution of the relationship between Arizona State University and the City of Chandler,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The ASU Chandler Innovation Center will house world-class teaching and research programs from ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation. It will benefit the residents of Chandler who want to take classes closer to home or to their place of employment and make the city an even more attractive location for high-tech industries.”

Chandler Innovation Center consists of three elements:

• multi-purpose engineering and technology learning studios;

• access to ASU Online courses and degrees with assisted learning; and

• "Proof of Concept” labs to support open innovation and technology development.

Mayor Tibshraeny added that the new site will bring new energy to the downtown with students working virtually around the clock on projects, and he thanked ASU for reaching out.

“Dr. Crow and his staff have been instrumental in working with Chandler to bring a forceful new presence to downtown,” he said. “The innovative work to be performed here complements our goal to be an essential player in today’s dynamic global economy." 

Renovation work on the site is expected to start at the beginning of April. ASU estimates that 100 students will be on site when the facility opens with as many as 1,000 students in the program at full capacity.

Britt Lewis

Interim Communications Director, ASU Library

Study: Adolescents suffering from depression more likely to be bullied

February 8, 2012

A new study provides evidence that adolescents who suffer from depression are more likely to experience difficulty in peer relationships, including being bullied at school.

It’s often assumed that being bullied leads to psychological problems, such as depression, but the study doesn’t support this line of thought. Download Full Image

“Often the assumption is that problematic peer relationships drive depression. We found that depression symptoms predicted negative peer relationships,” said Karen Kochel, an assistant research professor in ASU’s  School of Social and Family Dynamics. “We examined the issue from both directions but found no evidence to suggest that peer relationships forecasted depression among this school-based sample of adolescents.”

The new research is published in the journal Child Development. The article, “Longitudinal Associations among Youths’ Depressive Symptoms, Peer Victimization, and Low Peer Acceptance: An Interpersonal Process Perspective,” was authored by Gary Ladd, a professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics; Kochel, who conducted the study for her dissertation; and Karen Rudolph, of the University of Illinois.

Being depressed in fourth grade predicted peer victimization in fifth grade and difficulty with peer acceptance in sixth grade, according to the research.

The researchers examined data from 486 youths from fourth to sixth grade. Parents, teachers, peers and students themselves provided information through yearly surveys. Data was collected as part of a large-scale longitudinal study that began in 1992 and continued for nearly two decades.

“Adolescence is the time when we see depressive symptoms escalate, particularly in girls,” Kochel said. This may be due to the onset of puberty or interpersonal challenges, such as emotionally demanding peer and romantic relationships which often are experienced during adolescence.

Teachers and parents were asked to identify classic signs of depression – crying a lot, lack of energy – when determining which children suffered from the malady. They defined peer victimization as bullying that was manifested physically, verbally or relationally, such as hitting someone, saying mean things, talking behind someone’s back or picking on someone.

“Teachers, administrators and parents need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and the possibility that depression is a risk factor for problematic peer relations,” Kochel said.

Research shows that having positive peer relationships is crucial for adapting to certain aspects of life such as scholastic achievement and functioning in a healthy manner psychologically, according to Kochel.

“If adolescent depression forecasts peer relationship problems, then recognizing depression is very important at this particular age,” Kochel said. “This is especially true given that social adjustment in adolescence appears to have implications for functioning throughout an individual’s lifetime.”

School may be the best place to observe and address adolescent signs of depression since students typically start spending more time with their friends and less with their parents as they become adolescents, according to the social scientists.

“We studied peer relationships within the school context. Parents tend not to observe these relationships,” Kochel said. “Because depression has the potential to undermine the maturation of key developmental skills, such as establishing healthy peer relationships, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of adolescent depression.”

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.