The aging population is at a state of development that is not as focused on employment, and thus has difficulty finding its place in a society that defines people by their careers. Research is needed on the issues of aging workers, such as training needs, career transition issues, and retirement planning. Research is also needed on which accommodations, workplace modifications, and changes to policies and practices positively impact the retention and continued productivity of an aging workforce. Counselor practitioners are in a unique position to contribute to needed research design conceptualization, metrics, and analyses to test the multiplicity of interventions we will be exploring in the coming years to keep our aging workforce healthy and intellectually engaged in the employment environment. Counselors are experientially qualified to provide the needed services to keep this population productive and more fully engaged in their communities and continuing employment.
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Assistive technology (AT) has a profound impact on the everyday lives and employment opportunities of individuals with disabilities by providing them with greater independence and enabling them to perform activities not possible in the past. Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and motivation are described as central elements in increasing a consumer’s confidence and belief in self. Good outcomes and efficacy expectations, as well as strong motivation, help lead to successful adaptation to AT. This chapter presents the human component of technology, the relationship between consumers and technological devices/equipment, and the acceptance and use by consumers. It offers recommendations to assist rehabilitation professionals in helping consumers with accepting, utilizing, and benefiting from technology. There needs to be a close and appropriate fit between the technological device and consumer. Therefore, the need for the counselor to actively listen and engage the consumer in the process is essential to the effectiveness and outcome of AT success.
Accepting the handicapped person as a full human being means accepting him or her as having the full range of human needs. The location of institutions and the houses in which handicapped people can live becomes important because their location within communities enables participation of the handicapped in community offerings. Architectural barriers become an issue because their elimination enables people with a wide range of physical abilities to have access to events within buildings at large. The lives of handicapped people are inextricably a part of a much wider socioeconomic political and ethical society affecting the lives of all people. It is therefore essential for all of us to remain vigilant to protect and extend the hard-won gains of recent decades and to be ready to counter undermining forces. Vigilance requires thoughtful action guided by continuing reevaluation of the effectiveness of present efforts and alertness to needs of changing conditions.
This chapter offers (a) a description of the empathy fatigue construct as it relates to other professional fatigue syndromes, (b) a recently developed tool (Global Assessment of Empathy Fatigue [GAEF]) that may be useful for screening and identifying professionals who may be experiencing empathy fatigue, and (c) resources for self-care of empathy fatigue and building resiliency. The chapter’s author hypothesizes that empathy fatigue may be different from other types of counselor impairment and fatigue syndromes. The experience of empathy fatigue is both similar and different from other types of counselor impairment or professional fatigue syndromes. Thus, it is hypothesized that the cumulative effects of multiple client sessions throughout the week may lead to a deterioration of the counselor’s resiliency or coping abilities. Developing a clearer understanding of the risk factors associated with empathy fatigue is pivotal in developing self-care strategies for the professional counselor.
- Go to chapter: Religion and Disability: Clinical, Research, and Training Considerations for Rehabilitation Professionals
Religion and Disability: Clinical, Research, and Training Considerations for Rehabilitation Professionals
It is clear that laypersons, health professionals, and researchers are interested in addressing the importance of religion in society and in health care. However, if we are to use religion effectively to improve the health of individuals, there is a need to better educate current rehabilitation professionals and students about religion, to critically evaluate the existing literature on disability and religion, and to develop practical suggestions for rehabilitation professionals to appropriately use religion to promote positive health outcomes. Rehabilitation professionals need to collaborate with faith-based organizations to improve the physical and mental health of persons with disabilities, as well as their ability to reintegrate back into their communities. Such collaborations are particularly important given the resources that are available in most community churches (e.g., church vans, counseling services) to assist persons with disabilities with transportation and provision of social support.
The first experiences of supportive and social units come, most often, from the family. This chapter discusses the impact of disability on family by examining the reactions of family members to disability, factors that influence adjustment to disability in the family, adjustment models, parenting reaction perspectives, effective family coping, the impact of disability based on the family role of the person with a disability, and cultural influence on family adaptation to disability. It is important to assess family needs and support services so that the family does not become overwhelmed or feel isolated in their endeavors to assist their loved one and to integrate into the larger community. This involves understanding numerous differences in family reactions and functioning based on the resilience of the family, who in the family has the disability, the extent of the disability, the resources available, and cultural beliefs and practices.
The root causes of social injustice are in part centralized around wealth inequities, politicians, and legislation favoring the wealthy, discrimination, and a Darwinian mentality. This chapter explores the ramifications of social injustice in America focusing on those with disabilities. It discusses the ripple effect of poverty, oppression, and disability, and its subsequent deleterious impact for equitable treatment and opportunity. Beginning with prevalence statistics regarding poverty in general and disability specifically, the chapter segues into an exploration of the domino and vicious cycle effect of inequitable education, employment, health care, and health. The resulting psychosocial impact on minorities and those with disabilities is a reciprocal occurrence between these populations interfacing with an arguably apathetic societal and political populace. Finally, the chapter discusses a dialogue regarding the social justice counselor and strategies for counseling and advocating for this most ignored and disenfranchised population in America.
- Go to chapter: Giving Parents a Voice: A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Experienced by Parents of Children With Disabilities
Giving Parents a Voice: A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Experienced by Parents of Children With Disabilities
No other single individual or health care provider has more influence on the personal health and wellness of a child with a disability than the parent. To date, however, much research concerned with the well-being of parents of children with disabilities has not captured their experiences from the perspective of the parents themselves. Qualitative methods permit researchers to study selected issues in depth, and they produce a wealth of detailed information that increases understanding of the cases and situations studied. This chapter identifies specific sources of challenges related to raising a child with a disability as expressed by parents themselves. Specifically, it investigates the following research questions: (a) What are the principal stressors and challenges for parents of children with disabilities? and (b) What supports and services do parents identify as being needed to deal with the stress and challenges of their responsibilities?.
Rehabilitation counselors can begin to assist women with issues of abuse by acknowledging that advocacy and protection from abusive behavior are a priority for many women with disabilities. By routinely asking about abuse and addressing issues of safety and control during rehabilitation planning, counselors can provide valuable information, resources, and support that may help prevent abuse from occurring and assist women for whom abuse has occurred. To address abuse issues during rehabilitation, rehabilitation professionals have several responsibilities to (a) learn about violence by using available training related to abuse of people with disabilities; (b) employ universal screening as a routine client-intake procedure; (c) volunteer information, resources, and referrals to clients who are in danger or at risk of an abusive situation; (d) facilitate collaboration with domestic violence shelters to supply personal care services and replace medications and assistive devices left behind in an emergency situation.
- Go to chapter: Quality of Life and Coping With Chronic Illness and Disability: A Temporal Perspective
The concept of quality of life (QOL), as a psychosocial construct, process, measure, goal, and outcome, has gained much popularity in the rehabilitation literature during the past 35 years. As both a goal (i.e., assisting clients with chronic illnesses and disabilities (CIDs) to attain a better QOL) and a process-outcome indicator (i.e., assessing both subjective and objective levels of QOL during and following rehabilitation interventions), QOL has become one of the most prominent and central concepts in the field of rehabilitation. This chapter familiarizes the reader with the conceptual and temporal parallelism underlying the domains of community interventions and personal coping, of which rehabilitation services are an essential component, as part of their joint goal to improve QOL. It provides examples from the field of psychosocial rehabilitation, and more specific coping with CID, that address the temporal nature of QOL-improving coping strategies.
This chapter explores a range of topics related to obesity, including its prevalence, medical aspects, and associated complications. Other relevant areas include the psychosocial factors pertaining to societal attitudes and individual mental health issues, vocational implications concerning work/wage discrimination, Social Security regulations, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections. The chapter also discusses the implications for rehabilitation counselors regarding vocational and mental health counseling. The implications of working with persons who are obese or overweight may be broken down into mental health counseling and/or vocational counseling. Obesity and related medical complications have soared to the forefront of medical conditions that lead to premature death, discrimination in employment, compromised quality of life, and negative psychosocial implications. Counselors who are aware of the medical, psychosocial, and vocational implications of obesity can assist clients in a variety of ways, keeping Olkin’s (1999) recommendations in mind regarding disability-affirmative therapy.
- Go to chapter: Working With Trauma-Related Mental Health Problems Among Combat Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts
Working With Trauma-Related Mental Health Problems Among Combat Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts
The impact of extraordinarily stressful and traumatic events on active-duty service members, veterans, and their family members is a critically relevant topic when providing services to those who have a combination of mental and physical disabilities. Recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries in the Middle East have spurred the expansion of programs and services for veterans, including those with disabilities. To inform the provision of mental health interventions for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn (OND), veterans, a thorough understanding of the mental health problems in this population is a necessary first step. This chapter reviews research on the prevalence and types of mental health problems among OEF/OIF/OND veterans, associated risk factors, and other psychosocial issues and provides empirical evidence for treatment in this population. This material provides guidance to clinicians working with mental health and psychosocial problems of veterans of the OEF/OIF/OND conflicts.
In the past quarter of a century, several attempts have been made to categorize the different sources of negative attitudes toward individuals with disabling conditions. This chapter integrates the major approaches in the domain of attitudinal sources toward people with disabilities and offers a new classification system by which these attitudes can be better conceptualized and understood. Some of the major categories included are: (a) conditioning by sociocultural norms that emphasize certain qualities not met by the disabled population; (b) childhood influences in which early life experiences foster the formation of stereotypic adult beliefs and values; and (c) psychodynamic mechanisms that may play a role in creating unrealistic expectations and unresolved conflicts when interacting with disabled persons. Parental and significant others’ actions, words, tone of voice, gestures, and so forth, are transmitted to the child and tend to have a crucial impact on the formation of attitudes toward disability.
Women with disabilities constitute one of the largest and most disadvantaged populations in the United States. This chapter helps rehabilitation counselors understand the myriad factors that affect the psychological and social health of women with disabilities. After giving some background on the historical roots of the rehabilitation response to women and a description of the demographic and health characteristics of this population, the chapter presents a heuristic, holistic model for understanding the reality of our lives and strategies for helping us achieve optimal health. It first discusses the pivotal construct of self-esteem, followed by social connectedness, its polar opposite abuse and the consequences of disparities stress and depression. The chapter ends with recommendations on strategies that the rehabilitation researchers and practitioners can use to include gender in their examination of individual and program outcomes, and thereby advance the field.
Many disabled people who have internalized dominant, ableist, heteronormative notions of strength, beauty, sex, and sexuality continue to experience psychological insecurity and distress when confronted with their own sexuality. The institutionalization of disability studies and the proliferation of a vibrant and dynamic disability culture, both of which have their roots in disabled activism and the social model of disability, have given rise to a whole new subfield, disability sexuality studies. Transforming the future of (dis/abled) sexualities hinges on the notion that sex and disability are malleable, pliable, and quite often multifarious. Disabled people cannot, and must not, create a “dismodern” world on their own. They must continue to build coalitions, coalitions across disability, across various sexual and racial/ethnic minorities, and with their (often) privileged “nondisabled” allies. Researchers, activists, and artists need to work together to dispel powerful myths about the dominant arenas in which sexuality is performed.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS; 2016c) under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security delineates the complex law and path to citizenship as it relates to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The etiology of the worldwide epidemic of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers is clear. It is war that is at the foundation of all human suffering as millions are forced to relocate geographically. This epidemic of person-made disaster points to the overall lack of respect and empathy for human life perpetrated by brutal governments, religious zealots, and other indigenous tribal warring groups. Disaster mental health responders who commit to work with specific indigenous populations of global cultures require a much different approach to provide culturally sensitive interventions and strategies. This chapter offers some guidelines to mental health professionals to begin working globally with the new culture of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
The chapter explores the history from the middle ages to the present day, noting the trials and tribulations of a population that continues to remain poorly understood and misperceived by the general public. Conditions for people with psychiatric disabilities did not fare much better in the American colonies. Similar to the circumstances during the Middle Ages, care for this population was the family’s responsibility if they had a family to care for them. Moral treatments began to decline in the second half of the 19th century in favor of somatic therapies and behavioral control techniques. Although psychiatrists initially scoffed at the notion that the quality of the care they provided in mental hospitals was subpar, research was conducted in the treatment of mental illness that brought about improvements. Physicians continued to develop and work toward improvement of somatic treatments for psychiatric disabilities in the early part of the 20th century.
This chapter provides the reader with an overview of (a) the dynamics (i.e., process) of psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disabilities (CID), (b) methods commonly used to assess psychosocial adaptation to CID, and (c) intervention strategies applied to people with CID. The chapter groups the psychosocial adaptation to CID under three headings: basic concepts such as stress, loss and grief, and quality of life, CID-triggered reactions, and CID-related coping strategies. The literature on CID-related coping strategies is vast. The chapter describes only a cursory overview of the most commonly reported strategies, directly related to coping with CID. It first briefly discusses the concept of coping and illustrates its relevance to CID. Over the past half century, a large number of measures of psychosocial adaptation to and coping with CID have been reported in the literature. The chapter reviews only those psychometrically sound measures most frequently reported in the literature.
In this chapter, the book’s editors, Marini and Stebnicki presents a compelling and provocative reflection on the counseling profession. They summarize salient aspects of dealing with culture and disability that reflect how services are provided in an evidence-based practice environment. Each editor offers opinions and considerations for counseling professionals in the 21st century. Together, they hypothesize an inconvenient and potentially frightening future for Americans, particularly those of lower socioeconomic status, many of whom are minorities with disabilities. The chapter explores the ramifications of social class and classism, whereby social injustice perpetuates and exacerbates classism. In particular, Marini and Stebnicki call on counselors and related helping professionals to take a more active role in advocating beyond their traditional narrowly focused job duties of working almost exclusively with the client to adapt and survive in an able-bodied world.
There is power in revisiting the underlying foundational principles of our past and looking at how they can inform our present and future functioning. This chapter looks back at the historic foundational principles of rehabilitation psychology (RP) and shows the links to current research on the psychology of well-being and explores implications for providing meaningful interventions that could improve the lives of persons with disability and chronic illness. It reviews how positive psychology (PP) approaches have been used for people with disabilities (PWD), presents an overview of the development and structure of well-being therapy (WBT), including a literature review, and then demonstrates how it could be applied to people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the broader implications for utilizing these approaches more widely in RP as well as a cautionary note.
- Go to chapter: Risk and Resilience in Military Families Experiencing Deployment: The Role of the Family Attachment Network
Risk and Resilience in Military Families Experiencing Deployment: The Role of the Family Attachment Network
This chapter presents a family attachment network model to describe the adaptation of military families during the stress of deployment and their adjustment during the reintegration process. The family attachment network consists of multiple relationships existing at multiple system levels (e.g., individual, dyadic, subsystem, and system-wide interaction patterns), each of which has rules and attributes that are distinct and do not exist at other levels, yet are inextricably intertwined with other levels and the larger system. Similarly, within the family system, each attachment relationship is unique, such that a child’s attachment behaviors toward different caregivers can vary, siblings can demonstrate different attachment strategies with the same caregiver, and parent child attachment relationships often diverge from spousal attachment patterns. A central assumption of the proposed model is that attachment relationships and family systems are fundamental contexts for risk and resilience between military members and their families during the deployment cycle.
Identity arises out of the sum of our experiences. This chapter traces the developmental concept of identity through its manifestations at different levels of community, revealing a complex and systemic context for rehabilitation counseling. Each level of identity (personal, social, and collective) denotes a potential point of counseling exchange with the family. The authors of this chapter consider family identity in relation to disability and interaction with the community. They discuss personal identity versus family identity and social identity within a social movement. The McMaster model of family functioning and the three dominant tasks of family are explored as are the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2001) domains of health conditions, activities and participation, and functions affected. Finally, the chapter presents methods of family coping (both negative and positive strategies), family resiliency, and strategies that counselors can use to effectively assist families.
The conceptualization of disability as an attribute located solely within an individual is changing to a paradigm in which disability is thought to be an interaction among the individual, the disability, and the environment. This chapter draws both theoretical and practice implications, which may assist practitioners and educators in gaining a clearer understanding of counseling clients who have disabilities, from four broad models of disability. Intended as a broad overview of the major models and an introductory discussion of ways in which these models can affect the profession of counseling, the chapter presents several different ways of conceptualizing the experience of disability. The four broad models are: (a) the biomedical model, (b) the functional model, (c) the environmental model, and (d) the sociopolitical model. The functional model and the environmental model are presented together because both are interactive models; stated differently.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization [WHO], 2001), and its predecessors the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH and ICIDH - 2; WHO, 1980, 1999) have been influential in the conceptualization of the construct of disability in the United States and internationally for more than three decades. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the history of classification of health and illness, and the role that different conceptualizations of disability have played along the way. It then reviews the development of the ICF within the context of these conceptualizations and introduces its key concepts, conceptual framework, and a brief orientation to its use. It concludes with consideration of the current and future impact of the ICF on conceptualizing psychological and social aspects of illness and disability.
Substance abuse treatment programs and clinical counseling approaches are designed to treat a variety of substance use disorders (SUDs). Treatment approaches may include a combination of medical (e.g., pharmacotherapy) and psychosocial approaches. Counselors apply a variety of evidence-based treatments, counseling theories, and approaches to substance abuse problems. With continued care, successive treatments, and continual monitorng, individuals with SUDs can increase the interval between abusive episodes until the individual achieves either full abstinence or more responsible substance use, as well as a more stable life-fulfilling recovery. Successful long-term recovery requires the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and continued mindfulness that SUDs can rear their ugly heads if one becomes distressed or negligent in maintaining life-enhancing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. With patience, persistence, tolerance, empathy, and compassion, counselors can help individuals and their families successfully recover from this devastating and potentially life-threatening disorder.
This chapter reviews the history of treatment toward people with disabilities (PWDs) in the United States. Early immigration literature and the apparent attitudes and treatment toward PWDs, as well as certain other immigrant populations, were blatantly prejudiced and discriminatory. Antidisability sentiment became more evident with immigration restriction, which began as early as the development of the first North American settlements. The eugenics movement essentially died down after World War II, primarily because of Social Darwinism and the Nazi extermination of an estimated 250,000 German citizens and war veterans with disabilities. The survival-of-the-fittest concept and natural selection in the 21st century appear to have morphed into a survival of the financially fittest ideology. With the aging of America and millions of baby boomers moving into their golden years, the financial portfolios of these individuals dictate what the quality of their lives will be, like at no time before in American history.
This chapter explores one of the most profound and important empirical questions that researchers have regarding the psychological and sociological impact of disability: How do persons with disabilities react to their situation, and why do some actually excel, whereas others become indefinitely incapacitated both mentally and physically? The chapter explores seven common theories of adaptation to a traumatic physical disability. Some proposed theories have stronger evidence-based empirical support, whereas others rely on more qualitative and case study accounts, as well as clinical observation. The chapter first explores persons born with a congenital disability, and questions whether such individuals actually experience any type of adjustment process since they have no preinjury, nondisabled experience with which to compare their situation. It then explores the seven theories of adjustment: stage models, somatopsychology, the disability centrality model, ecological models, recurrent or integrated model, transactional model of coping, and chaos theory.
Family caregiving and support are perhaps the most essential elements in their disabled loved ones’ adjustment for response to disability. This chapter first explores the prevalence of caregiving in America, including demographic information about who the typical caregiver is and what the situational circumstances are for these individuals. It is followed by providing a definition of the types of caregiving support generally provided by loved ones, as well as the nuanced differences between unpaid family care versus paid formal care. This segues into a brief exploration into the significant family role caregiving entails and its impact on each member. The chapter then discusses caregiver abuse as well as the often painful decision to place a loved one in a long-term care facility. Finally, it explores strategies for counselors to be able to support family caregivers in caring for their loved one while maintaining their own mental and physical health needs.
The skills of working with the psychosocial aspects of grief, death, dying, and loss are essential, particularly in working with persons who have acquired chronic illness and disability. This chapter helps elucidate important psychosocial issues in death and dying as it relates to how individuals experience and express grief within the context of the person’s physical, psychological, cognitive, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being. Recognition in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM- 5) of the Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder diagnostic category provides legitimacy for the individual’s sense of loss and mourning based on multiple events related to death and dying. It is essential that counselors address such psychosocial concerns clients because of the added therapeutic value and ethical obligation to guide the individual and his or her family in important decisions regarding death and dying.
The United States continues to grow in population, particularly among persons of minority. With the statistics in mind, it becomes all the more relevant for counselors to be knowledgeable and prepared to work with the growing populations in relation to their values, culture, family dynamics, and ultimately how they view and treat their disabled members. This chapter represents a synopsis of six different groups; Hispanic or Latino Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, European Americans, and Native Americans. It presents a synopsis of each specific group’s culture, cultural and family perspectives on disability, socioeconomic factors, and religion. Involving the entire family and not just the client can assist counselors to establish a relationship of trust that can be meaningful for the counselor-client relationship. Cultural competence has been known to be an important component in receiving school psychological services for Arab American youth and their families.
Inherent to the principles of human rights, all persons are entitled to such rights regardless of geographic location. Yet, social work's commitment to the person-in-environment perspective demands that location be considered in practice.
This article details an elective course focused on human rights within the city of the campus' location.
Using the frames of Freire (1970), Bronfenbrenner (2004), and the living classroom (Lane et al., 2017), content centers on local people, organizations, and social justice movements.
A study abroad at home format is introduced as a form of immersion learning for nontraditional students interested in human rights within the local context.
A review of the course development and suggestions are provided for designing similar courses.
- Go to article: Reflexivity, Ethics, and Divergent Perspectives: A Transformational Journey of Social Work Educators
Reflexivity, Ethics, and Divergent Perspectives: A Transformational Journey of Social Work Educators
Using classroom vignettes, this article portrays the experiences of four White social work educators with minority-view inclusion and conflict management that is a result of divergent perspectives in the classroom. The use of reflexivity is explored as a strategy for understanding educators' biases and assumptions in teaching. In addition, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics is applied as it refers to helping social work students learn to think critically to meet the needs and rights of clients and to address social inequalities, diversity, privilege, and oppression. The authors provide recommendations based on their experiences and reflections.
Youth experiencing homelessness (YEH) are at an increased risk from their housed counterparts for a multitude of mental and physical health issues. This article addresses disparities in discrimination experiences among homeless and housed low-income youth in an effort to understand more about the specific vulnerabilities of homeless youth.
Data were collected from 47 homeless youth at two different drop-in centers in New York City (NYC) and 36 nonhomeless, low-income first-year college students.
YEH (M = 4.51, standard deviation [SD] = 3.20) reported more than twice the level of average total experiences of discrimination than youth who were not homeless (M = 2.14, SD = 2.2), t (79) = 3.81, p = .005).
Implications for social work practitioners, educators, and researchers are discussed.
- Go to article: Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Mindful Movement Program to Improve Mental Health in Urban High School Students
Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Mindful Movement Program to Improve Mental Health in Urban High School Students
This study reports on a mixed methods evaluation of a Mindful Movement (MM) program for mental health outcomes in an urban high school during the 2017–2018 school year. The MM program had been previously designed and implemented several years prior to this evaluation.
Students were randomly assigned to participate in either the MM group or a health class (comparison group) at the start of the school year. The MM program ran for 5 days a week for 18 weeks as part of the high school curriculum. Quantitative measures were administered at the beginning of the program and at the end of the semester, and included measures of mood, self-esteem, mindfulness, perceived stress, and self-regulation.
At pretest, the MM group fared significantly worse than the health group in confusion, vigor, and emotional regulation, which were not detected at posttest. However, there were also no significant differences between groups from pretest to posttest, or significant improvement from pre- to posttest for the MM group. The qualitative results demonstrate that the students did make improvement in the targeted outcomes.
The results of this study provide qualitative evidence that the program helped students in several areas of functioning. The quantitative results suggest that the skills and tools learned in the program may serve as protective measures against decline in functioning. The discrepancies between findings are discussed with implications for future research and program development.
- Go to article: The Association of Racial and Homelessness Microaggressions and Physical and Mental Health in a Sample of Homeless Youth
The Association of Racial and Homelessness Microaggressions and Physical and Mental Health in a Sample of Homeless Youth
Homeless youth are at higher risk for trauma, school dropout, justice system involvement as well as physical and mental health issues, including substance abuse.
This article focuses on experiences of microaggressions, or subtle forms of discrimination, in homeless youth by describing the development of a new scale measuring homelessness microaggressions and demonstrating the association between microaggressions, and health/well-being in a sample of homeless youth.
Previously validated measures include the Child Behavioral Checklist and the Racial and Ethnic Microaggressions Scale.
Demonstrated that experiencing higher levels of microaggressions was related to more externalizing and aggressive behavior and somatic symptoms in homeless youth.
Implications for urban communities and urban social work are discussed, with suggestions offered for practitioners and future research.
- Go to article: Developing Leaders, Building Collaborations, and Addressing Social Justice: One Historically Black College and University's Experience
Developing Leaders, Building Collaborations, and Addressing Social Justice: One Historically Black College and University's Experience
To address the challenges present in urban communities and develop social work leaders who are equipped to confront a myriad of social and economic justice issues, Coppin State University established the Dr. Dorothy I. Height Center for the Advancement of Social Justice (DHC). Housed in the Department of Social Work, the DHC is a community-based resource whose mission is to heighten awareness regarding national and international human rights and social justice issues that impact marginalized communities. The DHC utilizes social work interns who focus on community engagement as operationalized via social justice–related advocacy, research and education initiatives. This article will highlight the experiences of these student interns and the impact of the internship on their development in the areas of social justice and leadership.
- Go to article: Capturing Context: The Role of Social Support and Neighborhood on the Psychological Well-Being of African American Families
Capturing Context: The Role of Social Support and Neighborhood on the Psychological Well-Being of African American Families
Mental health is a serious public health concern that is uniquely devastating for African American families.
This study systematically critiques the body of work documenting the mediating role of social support and neighborhood context on the psychological well-being of African American families.
This review used the PRISMA multistate process.
Several important findings are drawn from this study: a) social support and neighborhood context shape psychological well-being, b) existing studies are limited in capacity to capture context despite having contextualized frameworks, c) African centered theory is missing.
Social support and neighborhood context matter. Future researchers must employ methods to capture this context and the link to mental health in African American communities where disproportionate risks exist.
- Go to article: Case Management and Employment Training Outcomes for Welfare-Reliant African American and Latinx Women Heads of Household
Case Management and Employment Training Outcomes for Welfare-Reliant African American and Latinx Women Heads of Household
Case management has historically been a pillar in the social work profession, and has never been more pertinent than it is with recipients of the federal program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. There is a chasm of biblical proportions, however, when the case management ideals are compared with the realities “on the ground.”
The study examines welfare-reliant women heads of household (N = 30) to assess their experiences and outcomes in a welfare-to-work program designed to prepare them for employment opportunities.
A purposive sample was used for data collection and included longitudinal survey analysis. A Structured Interview Schedule Welfare-to-Work Success Index (WSI) were the primary data collection instruments.
Fifty-seven percent of the respondents were African American and 43% were Latinx women. The mean age of the African American and Latinx cohorts were 32.7 and 37.5, respectively. The vast majority of both groups were single heads of household. Sixty percent of the African American women were high school graduates versus 39% of the Latinx women. Twelve of the original 30 respondents found a job, with the African American cohort faring slightly better, in terms of salary, work hours, and duration of employment. Fringe benefits were not received by any of the study respondents who succeeded in finding employment.
Respondents had an unusually high number of case managers assigned to them, with limited success in finding meaningful jobs. Implications are discussed regarding case manager training, retention, the effectiveness of interventions with welfare-reliant clientele, and accountability.
- Go to article: What Is Safety to You? Determining an Inductive Conceptualization of Neighborhood Safety Through Centering the Voices of Community Residents
What Is Safety to You? Determining an Inductive Conceptualization of Neighborhood Safety Through Centering the Voices of Community Residents
Inductive explorations of neighborhood safety are a notable gap in neighborhood effects research. Thus, the current study explores resident definitions of safety and safety threats in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
To reveal urban residents’ phenomenological conceptualizations of neighborhood safety and perceptions of law enforcement as a safety support and/or a safety threat.
The researchers conducted semi-structured focus groups with community residents across three counties to gather evidence of what makes them feel safe and unsafe in their communities.
Thematic analysis generated five themes of what makes residents feel safe, what they perceived are safety threats, and what they believe law enforcement officers do to promote safety. The article concludes with implications for urban social work practice and research.
- Go to article: Teaching While Black and Male and Preparing Students for Urban Social Work Practice Matters
This article unpacks the pedagogical reflections of a Black male professor, bringing attention to issues associated with teaching while Black and preparing students for urban social work practice. The article asserts that contemporary forms of injustice cannot be understood without grasping critical historical analyses of race and racism in the United States. Ideas related to critical race theory, racial oppression, and social identities are explored. Finally, the article explicates the importance for students to become comfortable talking about racism and racial injustice in the context of working with clients.
- Go to article: Expanding Strengths-Based Urban Social Work: Distinctive Approaches to Serving Diverse Communities
- Go to article: Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Vehicles of Upward Mobility, Drivers of Transformative Change
- Go to article: Integrating Substance Use Disorder Education at an Urban Historically Black College and University: Development of a Social Work Addiction Training Curriculum
Integrating Substance Use Disorder Education at an Urban Historically Black College and University: Development of a Social Work Addiction Training Curriculum
Substance use disorders continue to have adverse consequences for a significant number of individuals and families. Despite the increasing need for behavioral health clinical social work practitioners trained to effectively work with this population, social work programs continue to lag behind in providing courses, which will adequately address this need. According to the Council of Social Work Education, approximately 4.7% of accredited social work programs had one or more required course offerings related to addressing substance use disorders. The purpose of this article is to address the identified gap by describing the development of a content-specific curriculum related to addressing substance use disorders while also providing a working framework for other Master of Social Work programs to consider.
School social workers are crucial in recommending alternative disciplinary practices to prevent suspensions and expulsions in schools (Cameron & Sheppard, 2006; National Association of Social Workers, 2013), particularly in urban school districts, which experience higher rates of discipline disproportionality between students of color and White students (Barrett, McEachin, Mills, & Valant, 2017).
Grounded in an ecological systems perspective, the purpose of the study is to determine if the presence of a social worker predicts school suspensions by race and gender in an urban school district.
Key findings show that the presence of school social workers has a negative relationship with school suspensions for students of color.
We advocate for an increase in social worker representation in urban schools and strategic practices to address school discipline.
- Go to article: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Rap Music Perceptions: A Content Validation Study of the Rap-Music Attitude and Perception Scale
The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Rap Music Perceptions: A Content Validation Study of the Rap-Music Attitude and Perception Scale
This study examines the content validity of a newly developed measure, the Rap-Music Attitude and Perception (RAP) scale.
Utilizing data from a racially diverse sample of undergraduate college students (N = 871), this investigation highlights an underutilized mixed method, qualitative–quantitative scale development approach, while investigating relationships between race, gender, and rap music views.
Results indicate overlap between themes identified in participants' qualitative responses and RAP scale items. Furthermore, there were several within and between (race and gender) group differences in the endorsement of RAP scale items.
Implications of these results support the utility of the RAP for examining perceptions of rap music and provide insight into how the intersection of race and gender relates to hip-hop music themes.
- Go to article: Mothers’ and Fathers’ Report of Coparenting Relationship Quality, Attitudes Toward Father Involvement, and Paternal Prioritized Roles
Mothers’ and Fathers’ Report of Coparenting Relationship Quality, Attitudes Toward Father Involvement, and Paternal Prioritized Roles
Little is known about mothers’ and fathers’ opinions related to the roles that fathers should prioritize in their parenting. To fill this gap, this study analyzes data collected from parents receiving services from an urban Healthy Start program related to coparenting relationship quality, attitudes toward fathers’ involvement, and the roles that fathers should prioritize in their parenting. The results revealed that mothers had divergent opinions from fathers about the roles that fathers should prioritize in their parenting. Qualitative analyses revealed a link between coresidence and reports of good fathering. Furthermore, the reported discrepancies were related to fathers’ expectations that mothers facilitate their involvement and mothers’ expression of fatigue and resentment from feeling responsible for having to facilitate fathers’ involvement.
- Go to article: The Role of Racial Identity in the Relationship Between Life Stressors and Depressive Symptoms Among Black Adults in the United States
The Role of Racial Identity in the Relationship Between Life Stressors and Depressive Symptoms Among Black Adults in the United States
The disproportionate rate of life stressors coupled with the unexpected lower rates of mental disorders among African Americans demands concurrent consideration of their cultural coping capacity. Racial identity (β = −.15, p < .01) and the interaction term assessing the moderating effect of racial identity on the relationship between life stressors and depressive symptoms (β = −.08, p < .01) remained significant when controlling for social demographics, despite the significant relationship of age, income, educational status, and work status. Findings from the analyses indicate that higher racial identity significantly reduced the relationship between life stressors and depressive symptoms, and lower racial identity significantly increased the relationship between life stressors and depressive symptoms even in the presence of social demographics.
Critical incident stress management (CISM) teams can be adapted in urban primary care clinics to address and process traumatic events in primary care. A guide for implementing the CISM team model within this setting is delineated.
Review of existing literature and guide to implementation of CISM team in primary care.
Respondents reported the team validated their reactions to the critical incident and were grateful for CISM presence.
Despite indications that vicarious traumatization, burnout, and compassion fatigue are rising (Bodenheimer & Sinsky, 2014; Coles et al., 2013; Woolhouse et al., 2012), there is little information about efforts to address this. Operating and emergency rooms and intensive care units utilize CISM (Maloney 2012; Powers, 2015); however, it's overlooked in primary care (Blacklock, 2012; Naish et al., 2002).
- Go to article: A Strengths-Based Multidisciplinary Leadership Team: A Case Study in an Urban Middle School
For school leaders challenged with meeting the needs of students, staff, parents, and community members, strengths-based leadership approaches have proven beneficial in accomplishing goals of teacher/staff development, addressing school climate, improving relationships between parents and school, and planning interventions for student success. The purpose of the present study is: (a) to offer a description of a multidisciplinary leadership team that employs a school social worker as a school administrator in a sixth–eighth grade middle school; (b) to identify the social worker's view of the strenghs-based approach and how this influences her administrative role; and (c) to consider whether the social worker’s unique skills are valued by others in the school community, when the social worker is a member of the school’s leadership team.
A case study approach was used in this study.
The study identifies key areas in which school leadership can be informed and opportunities for further research on how multidisciplinary teams using strengths-based approaches in intervention could prove beneficial to K–12 educational reform.
- Go to article: Protective and Adverse Experiences: Young Adult Voices on Parental Incarceration in Adolescence
Parental incarceration represents a life-altering event for children and families. This study speaks beyond the statistics, highlighting the voices of fourteen young adults who experienced parental incarceration during adolescence. Participants shared their retrospective experiences through interviews focused on the following qualitative research questions: 1) What adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) did participants identify? and 2) What supports or protective factors did participants experience? Participants identified various ACEs, with 11 out of 14 participants revealing four or more. Key areas of support include family, school, friends, and extracurricular activities. Findings have implications for practitioners assisting children and families affected by criminal justice involvement, and for organizations most likely to play a pivotal role in addressing children’s needs.
The health trajectory of Black immigrants receives little attention in minority health discourse despite Black immigrants representing a notable share of the Black population. One aspect of their health that requires increased attention is the immigrant health paradox. This draws attention to the deteriorating outcomes of immigrants as they assimilate into the host country. Although a few scholars have acknowledged the role of race in this trajectory, few have examined it from a critical perspective. This article embraces critical race theory to argue that racial processes intersect with other forms of structural oppression to produce the immigrant health paradox. An understanding of this health trajectory of Black immigrants is instructive in understanding the impact of race on minority health.
- Go to article: Fathering Despite Perpetual Penalties: Examining Fathers’ Involvement Amidst the Collateral Consequences of Previous Criminal Justice Involvement
Fathering Despite Perpetual Penalties: Examining Fathers’ Involvement Amidst the Collateral Consequences of Previous Criminal Justice Involvement
Background: The role that fathers play in the lives of their families, particularly, the lives of children, is vitally important. Research has found positive associations between father involvement and factors, such as infant cognitive outcomes, children’s school-readiness where levels of mothers’ supportiveness are low, better socioemotional, and academic functioning in children. Black males, many who are fathers, are disproportionately overrepresented within the criminal justice system. High incarceration rates have significant economic and social impacts on families and communities. Objective: This article examines differences in father involvement among Black fathers with criminal records and explores relationships between fathers’ involvement, the amount of time served in jail, fathers’ employment status, and fathers’ education levels. Method: Secondary analysis of the third wave of Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing (FFCW) public-use dataset was used for this article. The FFCW study follows a panel or cohort of 4,700 children born to unwed (3,600) and married (1,100) parents. The Fragile Families study employed a stratified random sample of 75 hospitals across 20 U.S. cities with populations over 200,000. Findings: The results of the analyses found (a) that the time served in jail had no effect on fathers’ involvement, (b) no statistically significant differences in fathers’ involvement based on fathers’ education level, and (c) fathers who were working were more engaged in the lives of their children, as compared to fathers who were not working and under correctional supervision. Conclusion: This article’s exploration of differences and relationships between father involvement and socioeconomic variables among Black fathers with criminal records further demystifies the complexities of fragile family compositions and circumstances while informing future policy, practices, and research.
This pilot study, conducted at a public univerisity in an urban community, collected the experiences of 42 social work students enrolled in a required course on diversity.
This research utilizes Critical Race Theory as a framework and expands on the themes experienced by recievers of microaggression insults, assaults, and invalidation (Sue et al., 2007).
Participants in this qualitative study completed three survey questions about: their microaggression experiences, immediate responses, and how they felt.
Student feelings provided beginning insights as to how they coped with their microaggression experiences.
Social work educators may find this research supports the importance of cultural awareness and culturally responsive pedagogy.
- Go to article: Leadership, Legacy, and Opportunity: The Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference, 2003 to Present
Leadership, Legacy, and Opportunity: The Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference, 2003 to Present
Jackson State University (JSU) School of Social Work (SSW) sponsors the Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference (MCWIC) in Jackson, Mississippi.
The MCWIC plays a critical role in disseminating information about concerns related to African American children and communities.
Using primary and secondary data sources, the authors explore the historical development of JSU, the SSW, and the MCWIC.
Particularly, this article (a) offers a discussion of the present curriculum and ways to infuse conference content, (b) examines MCWIC's African American–focused child welfare scholarship and its link to social issues, (c) explores the conference's community impact, and (d) lastly, discusses how MCWIC provides leadership and professional development opportunities within the HBCU context.
Implications for replication are offered.
- Go to article: Use of the Ecomap and Cultural Ecogram in Strengthening Healthcare Services for Urban African American Grandparents With Diabetes Type 2: A Case Application
Use of the Ecomap and Cultural Ecogram in Strengthening Healthcare Services for Urban African American Grandparents With Diabetes Type 2: A Case Application
The purpose of this article is to present an application of two tools the ecomap (Hartman, 1995) and cultural ecogram (Yasui, 2015) used sequentially so that it may help in the process of assisting health professionals in determining ways to improve culturally informed, instead of culturally competent healthcare provision. Both tools have been developed in the context of clinical delivery of social services, have some known research that points to the benefits of their use in health and mental healthcare (Lloyd, 2005), but have not yet been applied to promoting the cultural sensitivity with awareness in healthcare management of diabetes type 2 with urban African American grandparents who are caretakers of children.
Child obesity prevention is a relatively new phenomenon in developing countries where food insecurity and malnutrition have been the public health focus. Yet obesity is a global health problem. The purpose of this study was to compare healthy and unhealthy food choices among a convenience sample of 114 adolescent youths from ethically and economically diverse communities in Cape Town, South Africa and New York City using surveys and focus groups. Findings showed no significant differences in healthy food choices among participants regardless of socioeconomic status (SES). For unhealthy food choices, there were significant differences between adolescents from low and middle SES levels. Interviews indicated that unhealthy choices were influenced by money, convenience, and parents. School feeding programs were influential in initiating and sustaining healthy choices, whereas barriers included money and convenience of access to unhealthy food options. Parents and schools provided the most influence on these adolescents’ healthy options by including fruits and vegetables in homemade and school program lunches.
- Go to article: The Role of Life Stressors in the Relationship Between Work-Related Stress and Depressive Symptoms Among Working Black Adults in the United States
The Role of Life Stressors in the Relationship Between Work-Related Stress and Depressive Symptoms Among Working Black Adults in the United States
Work-related stress (WRS) has been considered a major source of stress for adults in the United States for more than a decade and it is higher in urban settings and greater among Black adults. Although research has established a connection between WRS, life stressors, and depressive symptoms, no previous studies have explicitly examined the association between spillover from life stressors to work and depressive symptoms using a nationally representative survey of Black Americans.
This current study examines how work related stressors are related to depressive symptomatology among working Black adults in the United States (defined as Black adults 18 years or older who were employed at the time of the interview), and whether this relationship is mediated by life stressors.
Multivariate logistic regression analysis compared work-related stress and other life stressors between working Black adults with depressed symptoms and working Black adults without depressive symptoms. Mediation of life stressors between work-related stress and depressive symptoms was also analyzed.
Work-related stress (OR: 1.79, 95% CI: 1.37, 2.32), (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.14, 1.71), neighborhood stressors (OR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.70), and financial stressors (OR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.54, 2.60) were associated with higher odds of experiencing depressive symptoms with low educational attainment serving as a critical component. Life stressors partially mediates the relationship between WRS and depressive symptoms (OR: 1.10, Bias-corrected 95% CI: 1.04, 1.16).
This study provides the foundation for the inclusion of other stressors (i.e., neighborhood and financial), beyond familial stressors, when exploring the spillover effect for working Black adults; taking into consideration the differential effects among high and low educational stratum. Organizations must begin to take a holistic and comprehensive approach when integrating policies and programs aimed at promoting interventions into their work-related stress prevention programs for Black adults—focusing on the full stress experience among workers at lower educational levels.
Behavioral alternative schools (BAS) serve students who are unsuccessful in traditional schools due to low academics and behavioral challenges.
The current study examined the impact of attending a BAS on student grades.
Study researchers used a pretest-posttest design with a random sample of 170 middle school students. ANOVA was used to test the effect of race, gender and grade level on GPA before and after BAS. Multiple linear regression was used to model the effect of age, attendance and covariates on GPA before and after BAS.
For boys, there was no change in GPA after attending the BAS, while girls’ GPA worsened after attending the BAS. Results also showed an effect of attendance and grade level. Although BAS have existed for over 40 years and continue to enroll large numbers of America’s students, their impact on student grades remains debatable.
The BAS system should not imply a goal of improving students’ grades if its main existence is to correct negative behaviors. Restorative practices within the regular educational setting may produce better academic outcomes than BAS.
- Go to article: Global Learning Among Undergraduate Social Work Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Global Learning Among Undergraduate Social Work Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
While global learning among undergraduate students of color has slightly increased over the past decade, there are major research gaps regarding students of color attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), more specifically, the number of undergraduate students of color majoring in social work. The primary goal of this article is to discuss barriers that may prevent students of color who attend HBCUs from participating in global learning experiences. Also, provided in this article is a discussion regarding a Global Learning Visits Program within an undergrduate social work program at Bowie State University, an HBCU, which can serve as a model to assist students with addressing and overcoming barriers in order to take advantage of study abroad learning opportunities.
- Go to article: A Meta-Theoretical Framework for Understanding Educational Disparities Affecting Black Youth in the United States: Implications for Social Work
A Meta-Theoretical Framework for Understanding Educational Disparities Affecting Black Youth in the United States: Implications for Social Work
Black youth are disproportionately disadvantaged in nearly every indicator of academic performance.
This analysis seeks to understand the role of racism in the genesis of educational disparities affecting Black youth.
Drawing from structural functionalism, modern capitalism, and critical race theory, we provide a meta-theoretical framework to explore the underpinnings of racial disparities that disadvantage Black youth in U.S. public schools.
This meta-theoretical framework suggests a critical need to examine the history of racism as well as the social, political, and economic structure of the U.S. to understand the educational disparities affecting Black youth.
Social work professionals can use this meta-theoretical framework to inform research, policy, and practice addressing educational disparities and ultimately create more equitable, fair, and just school environments.
- Go to article: A Critical Race Perspective of Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Males in the United States: Implications for Social Work
A Critical Race Perspective of Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Males in the United States: Implications for Social Work
Recent high-profile killings of unarmed Black males underscore a stark reality in America: though Black men have the same constitutional rights as all other citizens of the United States, in practice their rights are often violated. The negative stereotype that all Black males are criminals has created an environment that perpetuates the killing of unarmed Black males by police officers as justifiable self-defense. In this article, critical race theory (CRT) provides a theoretical lens to examine and understand the persistent racism underlying the social inequities that have been thrust upon Black males in the United States of America. The authors conclude with implications and recommendations for social work education.
- Go to article: I Need to “Man Up” and Be Accountable: Generativity, Positive Transformations, and the Freddie Gray Uprising of 2015
I Need to “Man Up” and Be Accountable: Generativity, Positive Transformations, and the Freddie Gray Uprising of 2015
This study explored how selected returning citizens in Baltimore, Maryland, who experienced the Freddie Gray Uprising of 2015 (the Uprising) quelled community violence, stopped looting, and cleaned up the community in the aftermath of the unrest. These men, who had been incarcerated for between 5 and 20 years, provided narratives that expressed how they made meaning of their experiences during and after the Uprising. Their actions spanned the spectrum of helping through relational actions such as mentoring to helping through political action, advocacy, or civic actions such as cleaning up the neighborhood.
The focus of this study was on the effects of the Uprising as a means for studying whether civic engagement can influence or change how returning citizens integrate back into their communities.
Exploratory qualitative narrative research methods were used to investigate the life stories of returning citizens (i.e., individuals who were formerly under the supervision of the criminal justice system) and who also experienced the Uprising.
There were differences in reoffending among participants following the Freddie Gray Uprising of 2015. Participants who helped through relational actions and political actions were more likely to report reoffending post-Uprising than those who helped through civic actions.
- Go to article: So Much Trouble on My Mind: African American Males Coping With Mental Health Issues and Racism
The current discussion examines the mental health needs and challenges of African American males within a social context undergirded by racism. There is a dearth of empirical research on African American males in this regard.
To effectively address the needs of this population, this article reviews the extant literature on cultural, social, and contextual factors that may be salient factors in the mental health status and outcomes for African American males.
This includes an examination of the roles of race, religious participation, social support, gender role expectation in mental health and well-being outcomes.
The current discussion is intended to serve as a prospective guide for future research, prevention, and intervention initiatives designed to improve such outcomes for a vulnerable and at-risk population group.
The Afrocentric perspective embodies the essence of thought for social workers to be culturally competent. The Afrocentric Perspective provides both the knowledge and practice behaviors for working within the African American community.
This article moves the paradigm in social work education toward incorporating the Afrocentric Perspective as a recognized core theoretical framework for social work practice.
This article discusses the integration of the Afrocentric perspective into core courses at the baccalaureate and graduate levels. Discussion of knowledge gaps, application, and integration of the perspective in social work education and practice are presented.
A model (DIASPORA: An Afrocentric Perspective for Social Work Students) provides assignments and activities for teaching cultural competency, critical thinking, and self-awareness skills to social work students. In addition, the author provides sample student learning outcomes and course objectives.
Afrocentric social work provides an alternative perspective on the delivery of social services to African American families. This alternative perspective seeks to decolonize the standard methodology adhered to which addresses the social oppression towards the African American community. To move the paradigm forward, this author believes that a social work curriculum design teams for teaching the Afrocentric perspective should incorporate concepts of decolonizing, inquiry, Sankofa practices, political implications, oppressions, oppositions, and opportunities focus that allows students to reconstruct social issues through acquiring effective knowledge. As such, the DIASPORA Model may serve as an example for both BSW and MSW programs for teaching the Afrocentric Perspective principles, concepts, and application.
- Go to article: Justice-Involved Individuals and Admission Into Urban Undergraduate Social Work Programs
Research on the effect of arrests or convictions on college admissions decisions, while limited, suggests that college admission is a major hurdle for applicants with criminal histories. The purpose of this study was to examine admission application policies and practices at undergraduate social work programs in the South for justice-involved individuals or persons with criminal backgrounds. The qualitative study design recruited program directors through professional relationships for interviews and selected programs in urban cities in the South using the Council on Social Work Education’s Accredited Program Directory. The surveys consisted of three questions and the interviews consisted of eleven semi-structured questions focusing on the policies and practices associated with the application process. Study results reveal that slightly more than one half of all programs asked questions about criminal backgrounds, firm policies are not in place, and practices vary from institution to institution.
- Go to article: Shifting the Narrative and Ending the Silence: Juvenile Prostitutes or Juvenile Victims?
Public perceptions of juveniles involved in commercial sexual activity are heavily shaped by media and communication frames, and these perceptions influence the direction of public policy priorities.
A systematic critical analysis of trends in the literature was conducted to evaluate the framing of this population as either deserving of policy aid or undeserving of policy aid.
The language of professionals in medical, legal, and social science peer-reviewed journals was assessed, encompassing the years 1985–2015.
Findings suggest that the framing of these juveniles is slowly shifting away from a perspective of juvenile culpability and toward a perspective of juvenile exploitation.
Current research efforts are imperative and should be focused on the reconceptualization of these juveniles as victims of abuse and exploitation.
- Go to article: Forensic Social Work: Psychosocial and Legal Issues Across Diverse Populations and Settings, edited by Tina Maschi and George S. Leibowitz
- Go to article: We the People: Social Protest Movements and the Shaping of American Democracy, by Bryan Warde
- Go to article: Interprofessional Experiences From a Different Lens: BSW Students Foster Partnerships to Support Underrepresented College Students
Interprofessional Experiences From a Different Lens: BSW Students Foster Partnerships to Support Underrepresented College Students
Empowering social work students to address structural challenges and inequalities on their university campus through partnerships with other disciplines is an opportunity to engage in interprofessional education experiences. This article presents a social work student-led initiative to develop an interprofessional group on their college campus to address the emotional and racial climate. This article recommends ways to create interprofessional education opportunities on college campuses to bring awareness to health issues faced by vulnerable groups. Recommendations and implications for social work education and practice are offered.
- Go to article: Willie Gertrude Brown and the Unsettling of Black Settlements: Lessons for Community-Engaged Practice and Social Work Education
Willie Gertrude Brown and the Unsettling of Black Settlements: Lessons for Community-Engaged Practice and Social Work Education
Social work values require its educators to teach a history that represents diversity and inclusion, yet its history routinely omits the contributions of pioneering social workers of color. This omission promotes White hegemony as characterized by the emphasis on White reformers in the American settlement movement and the exclusion of Black social workers and activists. Using critical race theory, this article posits the need to dismantle White hegemony by examining the American settlement movement and the parallel settlement movement as a counter response by Black social workers, specifically, an unrecognized Black social worker of the 1930s, W. Gertrude Brown. This recognition portends the need for social work to critique its ahistorical perspective and perchance to rewrite its history.
Culture and racial or ethnic background are important variables to consider when conceptualizing families and resilience. Working effectively with Black families requires culturally competent interventions that honor and build upon their strengths and give attention to the intricate dynamics of relationships. This paper offers an examination of the unique stressors and adversity experienced by Black families as well as factors influencing their adaptive functioning. Enriched structural family therapy (ESFT), a versatile, skill-based, systems approach, is introduced as a viable model to promote resilience in Black families. Through ESFT interventions, Black families are able to successfully manage and cope with stressors while improving overall functioning.
- Go to article: “Unity Is Our Strength”: Perspectives on the Recruitment and Retention of African American Male Social Work Students
“Unity Is Our Strength”: Perspectives on the Recruitment and Retention of African American Male Social Work Students
This qualitative research study explored the perceptions and lived experiences of African American male social work students attending a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). Seven (N = 7) individual interviews and a focus group (N = 4) were collected and data were analyzed using qualitative iterative processes. This inductive analysis generated four broad themes, The Village, Social Justice Warrior, Iwoegbe, and Sankofa. Participant narratives are juxtaposed with values of African American social work pioneers and the contributions of HBCUs to instill pride and resiliency in serving the African American community. Presented in an Afrocentric framework, findings reveal culturally relevant factors in recruiting and retaining African American males to the social work profession. Strength based curriculum and pedagogical strategies that correspond to each theme are offered.
- Go to article: Transportation Infrastructure as a Social Justice Issue: Mixed Methods Analysis of a Suburban Boomtown
Transportation Infrastructure as a Social Justice Issue: Mixed Methods Analysis of a Suburban Boomtown
This sequential, mixed methods study assessed economic growth and transportation infrastructure development in a suburban Texas boomtown, where population growth exceeded 100% over a 20-year-period. Researchers applied empowerment theory to investigate and compare how environmental justice (EJ) and non-EJ residents perceive the growth. Results from 200 surveys and four focus groups were analyzed and paired with GIS mapping. Findings confirmed incongruence between transportation infrastructure development and economic growth, suggesting a lack of intentional planning, with the consequence of reinforcing societal inequities. Findings underscore need for innovative and inclusive urban planning in the context of rapid growth.
- Go to article: Helping Older African Americans Thrive in Urban Communities: Empowering Lessons From Detroit
Urban-dwelling African American older adults are disproportionately victimized by systems, which relegate them to disparities in health, education, and economic security as well as inequitable access to resources that support overall wellness (Brown, 2010; Jackson et al., 2004; Kahn & Pearlin, 2006; Zhang et al., 2016). The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2021 revealed poorer outcomes and a “double jeopardy” for African American older adults who suffered poor health outcomes (Chatters et al., 2020). As a result, avenues to promote healthy aging through health and wellness literacy, self-empowerment, and social-community connections are critical (Chatters et al., 2020; Pourrazavi et al., 2020; Waites, 2013). A qualitative study was conducted with African American older adults in Detroit to understand how to promote health literacy and overall wellness for those who are aging in place. An empowerment-oriented wellness framework (Dunn, 1961; Dunn, 1977; Hettler, 1976) was employed. Findings indicated that these African American older adults aging in the urban communities strived to maintain their independence while recognizing that they may need some assistance as they age in place. While some elders defined themselves by their disability and expressed feelings of being pushed aside by family and society, many rejected stereotypes associated with aging and reinforced a sense of pride and empowerment. They called for programs to: 1) assist older adults with health literacy and a comprehensive understanding of overall wellness; and, 2) provide activities and tools to support proactive overall wellness; and 3) employ strategies that actively encourage social engagement as well as outreach to their less engaged peers. Participants also suggested that a strategy to enlighten younger generations about the “senior world,” and aging is also crucial.
- Go to article: The Evaluation of a Narrative Intervention for Health-Care Professionals in an Urban Oncology Inpatient Unit
The Evaluation of a Narrative Intervention for Health-Care Professionals in an Urban Oncology Inpatient Unit
Oncology professionals in fast-paced urban hospitals are at risk for burnout and secondary traumatic stress.
This exploratory study evaluated the effectiveness of a workplace narrative intervention for oncology professionals in regard to reducing burnout and secondary traumatic stress.
Thirty-five oncology health-care providers from three inpatient oncology units within an urban medical center completed the Professional Quality of Life Scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey before and after four monthly group narrative oncology interventions during the work day.
Findings lend tentative support to the effectiveness of this intervention in reducing different aspects of burnout and secondary traumatic stress.
Oncology social workers are in a prime position to take a leadership role in instituting such interventions in urban hospitals.
- Go to article: A Black Feminist Approach Toward Engaging Social Work Students in Social Justice Collaboration
The national emergence of Black Lives Matter, the #CollegeBlackOut, and the #MeToo demonstrations across university campuses as a response to race and gendered-related police brutality, violence against women, and racism has captured the need for social work education to develop spaces within the academic setting to foster knowledge of racial inequalities, create critical dialogue and personal reflection, broaden racial and social consciousness, and mobilize student activists. This article will suggest the usefulness of integrating a Black feminist framework into social work education and practice, demonstrate the importance of developing student-led Black feminist organizations as a catalyst for social change, and share student perspectives and involvement with the Black feminist organization.
- Go to article: Psychosocial Correlates of Depressive Symptoms Among Preadolescent African American Youth
The present study seeks to explore the correlations of depressive symptoms among African American youth. The sample included 118 African American preadolescents (age range: 9–12, M = 10.54; SD = 1.02) living in an urban environment. The sample was primarily female (64.4%, n = 76) and in the 4th grade (43.2%, n = 51). Depressive symptoms were negatively associated with spiritual well-being, self-esteem and positively associated with exposure to violence and bullying. This study identified correlations as well as predictors of depressive symptoms. The predictors include spiritual well-being, bullying, exposure to violence, and self-esteem. These findings documented individual and social level psychosocial factors as an important determinant of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, these findings provided needed empirical evidence documenting factors that affect depressive symptoms among African American children.
- Go to article: Self-Care in an Era of Pathos: The Effects of the Trump Presidency on the Well-Being of Social Workers
Self-Care in an Era of Pathos: The Effects of the Trump Presidency on the Well-Being of Social Workers
The importance of self-care for social workers as first responders is underscored in light of the sociopolitical, economic, and pandemic challenges that accompanied the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States.
We conducted an extensive review of the literature on the conceptualization, dimensions, benefits, importance, and indispensability of self-care for social workers, especially in stressful socio-political and toxic work environments. Chaos theory served as the theoretical scaffold of our research.
Inevitably our research found that the ability of social workers to effectively serve as first responders during chaotic times depends on a proactive and consistent practice of self-care by social workers as an essential best practice.
The consequences of the policies of the 45th president of the United States have taken their toll on the citizenry, with the increase in stress in the nation. Undoubtedly, social workers as first responders, therapists, and educators are at the receiving end of ensuing political and socioeconomic uncertainties. We posit that for social workers to remain steadfast, unshakable, and abiding in the solemn pursuit of social justice and an egalitarian society, this is the era for social workers to embrace and persistently practice self-care.
- Go to article: Policy Transfer Model: Can the United States Successfully Borrow From Portugal's National Drug Policy?
Policy Transfer Model: Can the United States Successfully Borrow From Portugal's National Drug Policy?
Facing a drug crisis and opioid epidemic in the 1990s similar to the current struggle in the United States, Portugal took a bold strategy completely redesigning drug policy different from not only their previous approach, but also diverging from the United States and the existing norms of the European Union. The most known aspect of that plan was the decriminalization of all drugs.
What resulted from Portugal's National Plan for Reducing Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies were public health successes that other countries might hope to emulate; however, the structural, political, and cultural differences are vast.
The policy transfer model, which originated in comparative policy analysis, provides a roadmap to evaluate the likely barriers of successful policy transfer.
This article will present the unique elements of the Portuguese National Plan, highlight where they were successful, provide an overview of the policy transfer model, and ultimately an analysis of the possibility of adopting Portugal's drug policy in the United States using the Policy Transfer Model.
- Go to article: Exploring the Meaning of Sexual Health Through the Voices of Black Adolescents With HIV-Positive Mothers: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Exploring the Meaning of Sexual Health Through the Voices of Black Adolescents With HIV-Positive Mothers: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Youth who have a parent living with HIV represent a population that may experience negative sexual health outcomes particularly if they reside within social and cultural contexts (e.g., families, communities, schools) that contribute community-level risks associated with HIV infection.
This study sought to understand how adolescents with HIV-positive mothers engage in parent–child communication about sex and give meaning to their sexual health attitudes, beliefs, and experiences.
An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach was used to collect focus group and individual interview data from fourteen Black adolescents residing in an urban U.S. city that is characterized to have a generalized HIV epidemic. NVivo supported qualitative data analysis, which was guided by a six-step heuristic framework.
Three themes were associated with HIV-affected adolescents' meaning-making around sexual health—Being Ambivalent about Sex, Making Decisions about Sex, and Reflecting on Sexual Health. These themes describe participants' perspectives of informal parent–child communication about sex and offer an interpretation of their sexual health attitudes, beliefs, decision-making, and risk-taking behaviors.
Despite informally engaging in parent–child communication about sex with their mothers, many participants did not articulate comprehensive sexual health knowledge and furthermore sought opportunities for increased dialogue around decision-making concerning their sexual health.
- Go to article: Families in the Urban Environment: Understanding Resilience, by Jason Anthony Plummer
- Go to article: Forensic Social Work: Psychosocial and Legal Issues Across Diverse Populations and Settings, by T. Maschi and G. S. Leibowitz
- Go to article: Barriers to the Delivery of Teen Dating Violence Programs in Urban School and After-School Settings Serving Mexican-Heritage Youth
Barriers to the Delivery of Teen Dating Violence Programs in Urban School and After-School Settings Serving Mexican-Heritage Youth
Teen dating violence (TDV) is increasingly recognized as a national health priority, impacting overall well-being and school success. However, there are overlooked barriers to TDV program delivery in schools and youth-serving organizations and these are ideal settings to reach youth universally. In this study, we conducted 10 focus groups with school (e.g., administrators, social workers, nurses) and after-school personnel regarding barriers to TDV programming within a large urban community serving predominantly Mexican-heritage youth. Findings offer practice-driven considerations for the implementation of programs within urban communities. These include attention to limited resources, inhibitive and non-existent policies, competing demands, a lack of training, and demand for culturally competent curricula and wrap-around services.
- Go to article: The Consequences of Environmental Degradation on Native American Reservations: An Exploration of Initiatives to Address Environmental Injustice
The Consequences of Environmental Degradation on Native American Reservations: An Exploration of Initiatives to Address Environmental Injustice
Research has demonstrated the significance of the relationship that Indigenous populations have with the land. Environmental degradation on Native American reservations not only results in negative consequences for health, but also directly affects the relationship that Native American populations have with the surrounding natural environment or their sense of place. This conceptual paper explores how environmental degradation impacts tribal members residing on Native American reservations, utilizing a theoretical framework of a four-dimensional model of place attachment (Raymond et al., 2010). This place attachment model is comprised of place identity, place dependence, nature bonding, and social bonding. Using this model to understand tribal relationships with the land, or place, I interviewed the Natural Resources Director of the Penobscot Nation in a phone interview in 2016 followed by an in-person interview in 2019. During these interviews, I learned how environmental degradation directly impacted the Penobscot Nation reservation and community, which resulted in health and economic consequences for the tribe. Moreover, I also acquired an understanding of how colonization, capitalism and neoliberalism contribute to the roots of the problem of environmental degradation on Native American reservations. These interviews, concurrent with a literature review, underscore the relevance of social work macro-level community-based initiatives to assist Native American reservations. Community-based initiatives help combat the challenges of environmental degradation. These initiatives also increase awareness of why environmental degradation and its impact on marginalized populations are priorities for the National Association of Social Workers.
Youth in communities with high rates of crime and low rates of collective efficacy are at risk of depression, substance abuse, and other types of delinquency.
This article presents a formative evaluation of an empowerment-oriented program intended to reduce depression and risky behaviors by improving social support, providing adult mentors, and facilitating prosocial action.
Qualitative interviews and observations are used to describe program delivery and a quantitative survey is used to identify correlates of program participation.
Qualitative data describe a systematic process of program engagement that supported individual and group empowerment. The analysis of quantitative survey results identifies an association of program participation with less depression and more self-esteem—with reduced feelings of loneliness as the mechanism of these effects—although without comparable patterns for substance abuse and other risky behaviors.
Empowerment-oriented programs that involve young people in supportive peer teams should be developed to help foster constructive social change.
- Go to article: Does Adolescent Free Time Matter? Exploring the Association Between Adolescent Leisure Activities and Dating Violence Perpetration
Does Adolescent Free Time Matter? Exploring the Association Between Adolescent Leisure Activities and Dating Violence Perpetration
Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by independent leisure activities and increased interest in intimate dating relationships. Despite focused examinations on dating violence (DV), research has not yet explored connections between leisure activities and DV.
This exploratory study uses Birmingham Youth Violence Survey (BYVS) Wave 3 data to elucidate the relationship between leisure activities and DV perpetration among urban youth aged 16–23 (N = 497, Mage = 17.64, 52% female, 81.3% Black, 18.7% White).
Findings support the relationship between specific types of leisure activities and DV perpetration.
Practitioners, researchers, and policy makers with a vested interest in adolescent health should pay attention to specific leisure activities (e.g., social, sports, and media) given their associations to DV perpetration.
- Go to article: Improving Social Work Student Competence in Practice With Older Adults Affected by Substance Misuse: Spotlight on the Bronx
Improving Social Work Student Competence in Practice With Older Adults Affected by Substance Misuse: Spotlight on the Bronx
Through the lens of a case study, this article suggests ways to increase social work student competence in gerontology and substance abuse treatment to better meet needs of growing numbers of diverse clients in urban settings. Focusing on a client residing in the Bronx, New York, it explores how changing demographics and a lack of workforce preparedness can combine in an urban context to increase risks for older adults and reduce quality of life in late life. Aiming to reduce knowledge and service gaps, suggestions are made on how to improve social work student competence. These include interpreting client cases through a theoretical framework to deepen understanding about the intersection of advancing age and substance use and improving treatment skills.