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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.
There has been much controversy surrounding critical race theory (CRT) and the discussion of race and racism in education. The national emergence of racial injustices such as state-sanctioned violence, police killings of people of color, schools’ pipeline to prison, and COVID-19 racial disparities, in addition to racial justice movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #SayHerName, and #BlackAndMissing has ignited the need for the social work profession to bring awareness to the pervasiveness of race and to fully acknowledge the role of white supremacy on education, social systems, institutions, legal systems, and culture. This article highlights the need for social work education to develop anti-racist education and practice and increase awareness of white supremacy in the United States. In addition, this article suggests the value of infusing CRT as an anti-racist pedagogy and tool to teach race, actively oppose racism, and organize social change.
- 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: Food Pantries and Food Deserts: Health Implications of Access to Emergency Food in Low-Income Neighborhoods
Food Pantries and Food Deserts: Health Implications of Access to Emergency Food in Low-Income Neighborhoods
Access to emergency food is critical for the survival and health of vulnerable populations, but its importance is not understood in the context of food deserts. Using a cross-sectional survey based on Albany and Troy, New York, we compared the two food desert models, one based on paid (e.g., grocery stores) and the other based on free food options (e.g., emergency food sites such as pantries and soup kitchens). Structural equation modeling was conducted to identify pathways among people’s access to food sites, food consumption patterns, food insecurity, and health conditions. Access to grocery stores did not show significant links to food insecurity or health conditions, whereas access to emergency food, especially time taken to such food outlets, was found to be a significant factor for increased consumption of fresh food. Among the diet-related variables, food insecurity showed the strongest link to negative health outcomes. Access to free or low-cost options needs to be taken into consideration when designing research and practice concerning food deserts, food insecurity, and subsequent health effects.
- 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.