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Background: Gentrification is impacting urban communities across the globe. Some urban communities have undergone major displacement of longtime residents thus placing older persons at particular risk of social isolation and the loss of social networks. Objective: The objective of the article is to bring attention to the impact of gentrification on communities and specifically addresses the impact on older persons, especially as it relates to displacement, social isolation, and social networks. Additionally the article aims to address implications for social work practice. Method: A review of the literature was used to gather information on this important topic. Additionally, newspaper articles were reviewed that discussed gentrification in urban neighborhoods. Content analysis was used to gather themes that would inform practice recommendations. Additionally the author used community mapping through personal observation. Findings: Gentrification is perceived as both positive and negative, depending on the stakeholder. It also has been associated with negative health effects as well as social isolation and the loss of social networks. Older persons of color are particularly at risk of displacement. Emotional and financial hardships. Conclusions: Practice implications include an examination of quality of life factors, introduction of financial counseling and advocacy for policies that respect the quality of life of older persons faced with gentrification.
- Go to article: Alcohol and Condomless Insertive Anal Intercourse Among Black/Latino Sexual-Minority Male Non-PrEP Users
Alcohol and Condomless Insertive Anal Intercourse Among Black/Latino Sexual-Minority Male Non-PrEP Users
This study examined factors associated with alcohol use and condomlessinsertive anal sex among a sample of BLMSM (N = 188), self-identified as HIV- negative, ages 18–40. The influence of alcohol use on sexual positioning during condomless anal intercourse among Black and Latino men who have sex with men (BLMSM) warrants research attention because of the pervasive misinformation regarding the risk of HIV transmission and the disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic for this population.
Self-report survey questionnaires were administered in real time at bars/clubs; public organized events; local colleges/universities; social media advertisements; private men's groups; and organized events in Los Angeles County.
Logistic regression predicted those reporting risky sex when using alcohol were seven times more likely to report condomless insertive anal sex.
Clear messaging about alcohol moderation, dispelling the myths about strategic positioning, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among HIV negative BLMSM could potentially reduce HIV acquisition/transmission.
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 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.
The Autumn Divas study objective was to examine the lived experiences of women of color who achieved doctoral degrees after the age of 50. This study used qualitative methods to reflect the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the participants; the strengths they had in common, the support of family and friends, and the personal, professional, and financial challenges they faced in their respective journeys. This phenomenological study described the meaning of the experience for the participants, as they matriculated through their doctoral programs, explored in three focus group sessions, with nine participants. Results showed that they experienced similar journeys, which led to the advancement of their personal growth, and sought to motivate other women of color. Most participant's pursuit of a doctorate at this time in their lives was a means of self-fulfillment and empowerment. In conclusion, the participants had deferred this goal, but were receptive to new challenges and perspectives, and validated each other's stories in the focus group discussions. Most had a message for the sisters coming behind them: pursue your dreams; make the investment in yourself; be a source of support and wisdom for each other; and contribute to uplifting your community.
- 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.
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.
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: 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.
The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is devastating the well-being of college students and society. This article examines the need for attention to collegiate mental health during public health emergencies, with a particular focus on college students in urban settings. The article begins with a brief description of the unique challenges faced by cities during pandemics and continues with a historical overview of pandemics. College students attending three public colleges (n = 719) were surveyed regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their psychological health. Preliminary findings reveal a prevalence of students (44.9%) reporting moderate or severe traumatic stress symptoms in response to COVID-19 stressors. A definition of what we define as “astonishing” is the high trending prevalence of college students reporting that they know someone who died due to COVID-19 (70.6%). The article concludes with recommendations for future research and offers person-centered approaches for social workers and leadership in higher education.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Go to article: Color-Blind Racial Attitudes and Their Implications for Achieving Race-Related Grand Challenges
The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare established 12 social work grand challenges to address critical social problems in America. Some of these social problems include health disparities, income inequality, and the lack of social justice, among others. These social problems are deep and daunting especially for people of color. Tackling these challenges would require a focus on the racial attitudes in society, such as color-blind racial attitudes, that maintain the power structure that fuels inequality. This article introduces color-blind racial attitudes and discusses their impact on social work practice and policy. Lastly, it presents strategies for addressing color-blind racial attitudes related to the grand challenges.
- Go to article: Community Resident Voices Empowered: Exploring Public Housing Resident Needs and Assets Through a Qualitative Lens
Community Resident Voices Empowered: Exploring Public Housing Resident Needs and Assets Through a Qualitative Lens
Incorporating residents’ voices in needs assessments and decision-making activities affecting public housing initiatives is supported by various research. This approach of increasing communal empowerment and growth informed a needs and assets assessment to support an urban community center servicing ethnically and culturally diverse public housing residents. This study employed qualitative methods to gather insights from focus group participants about their perceived needs of the community. The data gathered from the focus groups provided an opportunity for community voices to expand on understanding the assets and needs of the community. The five themes that emerged in the focus group discussion were: (1) Yearning for home and community; (2) Appreciation for diversity; (3) Conditions supporting human dignity; (4) Continual growth of programs & affordability; and (5) Emphasis on trust. These insights support the importance of including community voice for future programming, policies, and research.
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 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.
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.
- 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: Cultural Differences in Parental Self-Efficacy in Communicating With Teens About Sex: A Pilot Study
Despite the declining national teen birth rates, racial disparities persist. Black and Hispanic teens in some communities continue to experience disproportionately higher teen birth rates. This pilot study explored parental perspectives regarding teen pregnancy and parental self-efficacy in communicating with teens about sex. Seven focus groups were conducted with 35 Black and Hispanic parents who reside in five targeted zip codes with exceptionally high teen birth rates, ranging from 84.2 to 112.9 per 1,000. These rates exceed the 26.5 per 1,000 national teen birth rate by more than 300%. Results reveal cultural differences in parental self-efficacy between Black and Hispanic parents in communicating with teens. Black parents reported higher self-efficacy. Hispanic parents reported cultural beliefs as communication barriers with teens.
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.
- 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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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: 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: Expanding Strengths-Based Urban Social Work: Distinctive Approaches to Serving Diverse Communities
- 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: Factors African American Men Identify as Hindering Completion of a Graduate (MSW) Degree
Using semi-structured interviews, 15 African American men were interviewed with the goal of understanding factors that hinder African American males from completing a graduate social work degree (MSW). Afrocentricity theory, which gives authority to Black ideals and values, was used in this qualitative, exploratory study as a framework of organization. Important results fell under three major categories of isolation, racism, and social work curriculum. Statements from men such as “It's hard because people look at you as if you are speaking for everybody but you are speaking from your experience” describe isolation. The men also described racism in many scenarios, one in particular: “I was asked by one of my peers was I awarded advance standing because I was a minority.” In viewing the social work curriculum, some of the men thought, “The curriculum assumed I was female or white male.” Another obstacle shared by the men was financial hardships. Strengths emphasized in the men's statements were the need for support and mentorship. Implications of these findings coming from the respondents' comments suggest additional research and a more inclusive teaching as practice for the social work profession are needed.
- Go to article: Families in the Urban Environment: Understanding Resilience, by Jason Anthony Plummer
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.
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.
- 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.
- Go to article: Food for Thought: Culturally Diverse Older Adults' Views on Food and Meals Captured by Student-Led Digital Storytelling in the Bronx
Food for Thought: Culturally Diverse Older Adults' Views on Food and Meals Captured by Student-Led Digital Storytelling in the Bronx
Through the lens of a digital storytelling project exploring food traditions, social connectedness, and aging among diverse older adults, this article demonstrates how innovative pedagogies can contribute to developing a more culturally responsive workforce better prepared to meet evolving needs of diverse urban communities.
In the fall of 2017, 25 undergraduate students enrolled in an interdisciplinary gerontology practice course engaged in a digital storytelling project to explore food traditions and social connectedness among older adults living in the Bronx.
The stories underscore the importance of food and meals in everyday life, particularly for people growing old far from their home of origin. The words and images indicate that food practices can assert identity, sustain cultural ties and social connectedness, and mediate losses both physical and emotional.
The article suggests that integrating innovative pedagogies across health profession curricula and fostering interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations are two ways to better meet client needs. Moreover, providing opportunities for experiential learning extends higher education's commitment to integrating best practice pedagogies across the curriculum.
- 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: Forensic Social Work: Psychosocial and Legal Issues Across Diverse Populations and Settings, edited by Tina Maschi and George S. Leibowitz
- Go to article: The Formation of the Black Medical Movement and Its Implications for Social Work, Part I: African American Physicians
The Formation of the Black Medical Movement and Its Implications for Social Work, Part I: African American Physicians
“The world cannot progress beyond its present impasse...unless we begin to learn again what really happened in the world...to give credit where credit is due and have a different conception of the human being regardless of the race or color of that human.”
Health deficits have been present among Black and African American communities since having been brought to and enslaved in the United States. Black Americans have a legacy of finding ways to make ways to acquire the resources and access to medical care desperately needed among their communities. However, the narrative of how these communities gained access to medical methods, education, and training is largely neglected in the context of social work or in social work education.
This historical review examines the efforts and accomplishments of African Americans to acquire medical training and resources to address the health disparities among their own and neighboring communities in need.
Thematic analysis is used to investigate the existence of efforts of African Americans to acquire access to medical resources.
The findings of this analysis identify that the efforts and achievements of Blacks and African Americans to acquire medical training and resources culminate in the Black Medical Movement (1788-Present).
This existence of the Black Medical Movement presents at least four implications for the social work profession. A brief background of the genesis of health deficits among African American communities of provided, then followed by a description of the Black Medical Movement from its inception to present. This analysis concludes with a call to interrupt systems of oppression by using the presented findings to inform social work ways of knowing, practice, research, and approaches to social justice.
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: 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?.
- 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: 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.
The purpose of this study was to investigate help-seeking behaviors among 228 self-identified culturally Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals living in Washington, DC, and the surrounding metropolitan area. Results indicate that the vast majority of participants reported feeling stressed, worried, or anxious. A large proportion of the sample reported feeling sad, unhappy, or depressed and experiencing discrimination because of being deaf. Despite these reports, more than three quarters of the sample reported that they were unlikely to seek help if they experienced a serious personal or emotional problem. Race and physical abuse were significant predictors of seeking help. Culturally sensitive interventions can contribute positively to Deaf individuals seeking help.
- Go to article: Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Vehicles of Upward Mobility, Drivers of Transformative Change
- Go to article: Historically Black Colleges and Universities' and Hispanic-Serving Institutions' Contributions to Social Work Education
Historically Black Colleges and Universities' and Hispanic-Serving Institutions' Contributions to Social Work Education
The establishment of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) dates back over 150 years, during a period in history when White institutions denied African Americans access to education. HBCUs made the education of Black people their primary mission, which affected the lives of millions of people around the world (Hopps, 2007; Williams & Ashley, 2004). Subsequently, HBCUs' establishment in and of itself incorporates the fundamental and foundational social work core values established by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Historically, the training of social workers at HBCUs embodies NASW core values: integrity, dignity, worth of an individual, and social justice.
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.
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.
- Go to article: Holistic Justice Instruction Through High-Impact Educational Practices at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Holistic Justice Instruction Through High-Impact Educational Practices at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
As a high-impact educational practice, living-learning communities (LLCs) have been found to promote engaging learning environments for students. It is suggested that LLCs have an excellent parallel with HBCUs due to their history and mission and inherent nature of social capital on campus. An Afrocentric strengths-based perspective was incorporated within the collaborative environment of the EMPOWER LLC, to support student learning specifically related to social and economic justice. The many facets of the EMPOWER LLC at an urban historically Black college and university (HBCU) provide a conceptual model to support a holistic approach to social work student social justice learning.
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: “I Can’t Even Wear a Simple Dress in Peace”: A Digital Ethnography of Black Adolescent Female Experiences Navigating Gender-Based Violence
“I Can’t Even Wear a Simple Dress in Peace”: A Digital Ethnography of Black Adolescent Female Experiences Navigating Gender-Based Violence
This study explored how Black females make meaning of their experiences with threats of sexual and gender-based violence while navigating urban community contexts using the framework of intersectionality.
Data derived from podcast episodes of audiorecorded focus group and dyad discussions were guided by two central aims: (a) how Black adolescent females describe their daily experiences living in an urban community, and (b) understand Black adolescent female perceptions of other peoples’ perspectives of their realities.
Digital ethnographic methods were used to examine podcast episodes. Findings: Findings were categorized across three themes: attracting unwanted attention; feelings of limited occupational opportunities; and coping strategies related to sexual assault.
Overall, Black adolescent females discuss their daily strategies and thought processes as a means of survival within the urban context. Social work implications are discussed.
- Go to article: Immigrants and Refugees in Cities: Issues, Challenges, and Interventions for Social Workers
The number and diversity of immigrants in cities have increased greatly in recent years. As social workers frequently work with immigrants, this article will focus on the following important topics: legal definitions, origins, employment, and health of immigrants and refugees, as well as micro and macro interventions in social work with this population. Micro interventions such as the culturagram for greater understanding and engagement of immigrant clients, as well as macro issues involving agency structure and government policies and laws will be explored. Advocacy continues to be an important tool for social workers to use especially with current challenging policies.
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.
- 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.
- 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: 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.
- Go to article: An Integrative Pedagogical Model for the Teaching of Diversity and Social Justice in Social Work Education: The Integrative Sociopolitical and Psychological Analysis Model
An Integrative Pedagogical Model for the Teaching of Diversity and Social Justice in Social Work Education: The Integrative Sociopolitical and Psychological Analysis Model
Social work students need to learn how to synthesize sociopolitical and psychological theories into an integrative practice approach if they are to become effective agents of social change and social justice. Academic resources used to scaffold these skills oftentimes implicitly presume that the social worker is white and the client is “other”—Hispanic, African American, and so forth. The integrated sociopolitical and psychological analysis model, ISPA, presented and applied herein to the analysis of societal racism, provides an integrative framework for the teaching and practice of social work and social justice. The model promotes the decolonization of social work educational spaces, while providing Hispanic and African American social work students with an integrated framework that decenters “whiteness” and examines its individual and societal effects.
- Go to article: Intentional Weaving of Critical Race Theory Into an MSW Program in a Hispanic-Serving Institution
Hispanic-serving institutions' (HSIs') settings for social work programs present a unique challenge as a context for implementing social work programs due to their unique mandate to serve Hispanic students. Moreover, this context invites innovative and “out of the box” programmatic ideals that address social justice values. This article presents an example of the implementation of critical race theory to frame a social work program at a medium-sized university in Southern California. Testimonios, a LatCrit empirical method, is used in this article to tell the story from the perspective of two of the founding faculty.
- 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: 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.
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: 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: Kept in the Dark: Exploring Children’s Preparation for Parental Incarceration and Reentry
Parental incarceration is a challenging and pivotal experience for families. Efforts to prepare children can hinder or promote children’s abilities to adapt.
This study addresses the research question: How informed and prepared are children for parental incarceration, family reentry, and re-incarceration?
Fourteen young adults shared their experiences related to childhood parental incarceration and family reentry through individual interviews.
Regardlessof the parent’s stage of criminal justice involvement – arrest,incarceration, reentry, or re-incarceration, participants reported receiving very little information about what was taking place, why, or what they could expect.
Small efforts to prepare and inform children were perceived to be helpfulas children. Resources and brief interventions that mitigate this experience of being kept in the dark are described.
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.
- 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: Long-Term Care Planning and the Changing Landscape of LGBT Aging: Student Research With Diverse Elders in the Bronx
Long-Term Care Planning and the Changing Landscape of LGBT Aging: Student Research With Diverse Elders in the Bronx
This article reports on an exploratory study examining end-of-life planning among members of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) senior center in the Bronx, New York, that provided social work students hands-on qualitative research experience in an urban setting. Despite health disparities such as increased rates of depression and isolation and shortened life expectancy as compared to non–LGBT-identified peers, older members of LGBT communities demonstrate resilience as they face their own aging and mortality without traditional family caregivers. Findings suggest that previous experiences providing care for dying adult loved ones can improve well-being by clarifying personal care wishes, promoting planning for end of life, and diminishing anxiety about death. Implications extend beyond LGBT older adults to persons facing late life without care partners for a variety of reasons.
- 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: 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.
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.
- 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: Neighborhood Disorder, Urban Stressors, and Street Codes: A Model for Exploring Social Determinants of Life-Course Trajectories
Neighborhood Disorder, Urban Stressors, and Street Codes: A Model for Exploring Social Determinants of Life-Course Trajectories
This article reviews relevant literature and proposes a theoretically grounded conceptual model by which to inform, and potentially advance, the exploratory study of the effects of neighborhood disorder on the psychosocial, emotional, and cultural pathways that are thought to influence social and developmental outcomes for African American youth and young adults. Similar to the social determinants of health model which asserts that the distribution of social and economic resources across populations influences differences in health status, the proposed model posits that environment determines social and developmental outcomes and hence life-course trajectories.
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.
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.
- Go to article: Persistence and Desistance Narratives: Understanding the Role of Correctional and Probation Officers in Reducing Recidivism
Persistence and Desistance Narratives: Understanding the Role of Correctional and Probation Officers in Reducing Recidivism
Forensic social workers and criminal justice reform advocates must better understand how correctional and probation officers influence offender recidivism. Justice system reform efforts focusing on policing and the courts often ignore the roles of correctional and probation officers. Returning citizens' internal “persistence” and “desistance” narratives influence future criminality and successful reintegration into their communities. Correctional and probation officers may influence these persistence and desistance narratives. A narrative analysis investigating the experiences of three Black male returning citizens in Baltimore, Maryland, shows that a person's ability to make sense of their interactions with probation officers while serving community corrections sentences and their interactions with correctional officers within prisons may be one of many factors that influence persistence and desistance narratives.
- 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.
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: 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.