Carolina Parent: “Easing Your Teen’s School-Related Anxiety”

Back-to-school = back-to-stress?

As the demanding school year draws near, many teens begin to experience higher stress levels. Here are tips from Pace’s Dr. Richard Shadick as to how you can help your teen get a handle on stress before it wreaks havoc on their psyche.

“Often teens feel stress about the start of the school year because their schedule is quite different during the summer,” says Richard N. Shadick, director of Pace University Counseling Center and adjunct professor of psychology, in Myrna Beth Haskell’s back to school/August column which has a circulation of over 500,000 readersand appears in a number of parenting publications across the country, including Carolina Parent.  

“They are used to fewer demands and expectations. Also, during the summer, some teens tend to lose their social network. This makes for an awkward transition and the need to get reacquainted with peers after much time has passed.”

Teens might be concerned about considerable changes as well, such as more intense academic loads or new school environments.

“Depending on the year, teens may be facing major challenges such as starting high school, applying to colleges or looking for work,” Shadick says.

Don’t underestimate stress

“Signs that your teen’s stress is getting out of hand include drastic changes in grades, personality or habits,” Shadick says. “For example, if a neat and orderly teen starts to become disheveled and disorganized, parents may need to be concerned.”

Parents can help

Shadick believes planning a structured summer is essential because this alleviates a drastic transition. He also advises maintaining your teen’s social activities and connections.

“Encourage your teen to stay in contact with their friends from school so that they will have the social support they need when they return to classes,” Shadick says. He also says it’s a good idea for parents to talk frequently with their teens about the transition from summer vacation to school, and to work with them on being properly prepared for the change.

Medill Reports Chicago: “True-life teen moms, experts say MTV’s ‘reality’ off the mark”

Emilie Zaslow, PhD, assistant professor of communication studies and author of “Feminism, Inc.: Coming of Age in Girl Power Media Culture” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), discusses how the media, especially the Internet and television, affects teens.

Whether teens are talking about it at home, pregnancy seems to be inescapable in the media. In recent years, young motherhood has become a pop culture trend, and this has not been lost on teens, said Emilie Zaslow, PhD., assistant professor of communication studies at Pace University in New York City, in an interview with Medill ReportsMedill Reports is written and produced by graduate journalism students at Northwestern University’s Medill school.

“Generally, the research shows that there is not a direct link between media and behavior,” she said, “but there is strong evidence that media does have an influence on attitudes and values, and how we see the world.

Some organizations are seizing this opportunity to change the ways in which teenagers learn about safe sex.  TV shows and movies provide parents with the opportunity to have an open dialogue with their kids about sex. 

But Zaslow suggested this type of discussion should begin in classrooms because media education is limited in our country, compared with the United Kingdom and Canada.

“The United States has some of the worst media education,” she said. “And it is because we are the biggest producers of media – [producers] have a large strong hold.”

NEWS RELEASE: Psychology Professor Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, PsyD, Talks “Teen” in New Book “Teenage as a Second Language”

Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder has a doctorate in school/clinical child psychology from Pace University. She is the Director of an inpatient adolescent unit at Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, New York. She is an adjunct professor at Pace University and maintains a private practice in New York. She is also the co-creator of an interactive website for parents of teens.

Posted in partnership with Adams Media:


A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual

Barbara R. Greenberg, PhD

And Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, PsyD

What’s the story?

You wake up one day and your cheerful, friendly kid has morphed into a sarcastic, sullen adolescent who can’t—or won’t—talk to you.  Now what? Forget Spanish, its time to learn a second language and that language is teen.

Enter TEENAGE AS A SECOND LANGUAGE:  A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual (Adams Media, a division of F+W Media; November) by Barbara R. Greenberg, PhD and Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, PsyD—the only book on the market to reveal concrete strategies any parent can use to maintain good communication, healthy interaction, and strong connections to their teens.

What does it mean for your audience?

Based on the latest research, this book works as a Rosetta Stone to help parents hear what their teens are really saying—one dialogue at a time.  Readers will learn how to:

  • Let their teens help set the rules—and the consequences for breaking them
  • Put honesty above all else
  • Realize that “me, me, me!” is actually age-appropriate behavior
  • Try not to criticize, judge, or become angry

Who are the authors?

Barbara R. Greenberg has a doctorate in clinical psychology from SUNY at Stony Brook. She maintains a full-time private practice in Connecticut where she serves as the Adolescent Consultant for Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut. She is also the co-creator of an interactive website for parents of teens.

Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder has a doctorate in school/clinical child psychology from Pace University. She is the Director of an inpatient adolescent unit at Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, New York. She is an adjunct professor at Pace University and maintains a private practice in New York. She is also the co-creator of an interactive website for parents of teens.

For more information, please contact Beth Gissinger at 508/427-6757 or

THE EXAMINER – PLEASANTVILLE: Darren Hayes – Op-Ed on Safer Use of Mobile Devices

Seidenberg Professor Darren Hayes published an op-ed in the March 15 Examiner in Pleasantville on the mobile safety summit held this week at Pace.

The bully in kids’ pockets

By Darren Hayes, professor, Pace University Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information systems

More than 40% of kids have been bullied while online, while a staggering 58% of kids admit that someone has said hurtful things to them online. Nearly 60% of these kids have not informed their parents about being victimized. The recent highly-publicized cases of Tyler Clementi, from Rutgers University, and Phoebe Prince from Hadley, Massachusetts, highlight the need for greater awareness and education for children and their guardians.

Increasingly, the danger is right in kids’ pockets. One survey suggests that 22% of children aged 6-9 own a cellphone while 60% of kids between the ages of 10-14 do and 84% of teenagers aged 15-18 have one.

The rapid migration of technology to mobile devices, especially among the younger generations, also has prompted the move of cyber bullying to these devices. Today’s cell phones contain all of the tools necessary to intimidate through texting, e-mail or posting to online social networks in an effort to publicly humiliate a child.

Technology has enabled the bully to continue his harassment well beyond the classroom or schoolyard, and to be generally more determined and less intimidated because of the absence of face-to-face confrontation.

Computers and mobile devices do however provide a wealth of digital evidence to determine the perpetrators of harassment and ultimately intervene to protect the victims.

Much-needed legislation has come in the wake of cyber bullying tragedies. The states of New York and New Jersey  recently passed anti-bullying laws; a program on the topic was recently held at the White House.

But the fight against the scourge of cyber bullying will only be effective with the support of people and groups like teachers, corporations, community leaders, prosecutors, and lawmakers. It is critical for all of these parties to meet and strategize to effect change in the community.

Safer use of mobile devices by young people will be the focus of a Mobile Safety Summit on Wednesday, March 16 involving students, policymakers, educators and members of the industry. The event will take place on Pace University’s campus in Pleasantville. Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is collaborating with the WiredSafety organization and its executive director, Parry Aftab, a leading international cyber safety expert.

The summit will focus on students and educators. The Verizon Foundation is providing a $15,000 grant to help bring information and awareness on mobile safety and cyber bullying to high school and college students, and to spread these concerns to adults who can act on them. The summit will help define the issues of mobile safety from students’ perspectives. Findings and ideas from this interactive discussion will be shared with key industry professionals, policymakers, parents, and school leaders.

Panels and breakout sessions will encourage participants to frame an action plan for moving forward on best practices in mobile safety.  More information is available at