The medical model in psychiatry assumes medical intervention is the treatment of choice for the constellations of diagnosed symptoms that comprise various mental disorders. These treatments may include pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment, brain stimulation, and psychosurgery. Therefore, psychopharmacology for older adults can be considered palliative rather than a cure for a brain disease causing psychopathology. Older adults experience many psychopathological problems, including anorexia tardive, anxiety disorders, delusional disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and co-occurring disorders with substance abuse/dependence disorders. Therefore, it is critical for the social worker to understand the various manifestations of psychological problems in older adults from the perspective of an older adult, rather than extrapolating information commonly taught in social work programs that neglect to focus on older adults and restrict teaching to psycho-pathological problems in younger and middle-aged adults.
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For older adults, the phenomenon of death is accepted and does not induce the fear experienced by younger adults. Older adults who do not engage in end-of-life planning may receive unwanted, unnecessary, costly, and painful medical interventions or withdrawal of desired treatment. Many older people feel that the goal of palliative care is to make the best possible dying experience for the older adult and his/her family. In addition to palliative care, an older adult will most likely find himself or herself in an intensive care unit as part of his or her terminal care. Euthanasia, or hastened death, is seen by some as an alternative to palliative care. A psychological aspect of death that an older adult is concerned with, in addition to place of death, is whether he or she will die in his or her sleep or die suddenly, making the death experience an individual phenomenon.
Traditionally, there has been a division of labor in higher education between academics and student affairs. This chapter is designed to focus on the plausibility of using theory to facilitate communication across the many departments and divisions of higher education. It is important to remember that the student affairs profession “grew from the campus up, not from theory down”. Early institutions of higher education followed the Oxbridge model with historically based residential living systems in which educators resided in residence halls with the students. This concept of faculty–student integration remains a valuable component in student success today, and is discussed in greater detail in this chapter. One useful “language” for student affairs practitioners is found in Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. Erik Erikson pioneered a theoretical framework and proposes an eight-staged life-span model through which developing individuals permeate starting at birth and eventually ending with death.
This chapter focuses on informal caregiving among minority groups. It also focuses on context of caregiving and discuss the various specific challenges caregivers of minority older adults face. The chapter examines some of the specific caregiving interventions tailored for families of color and discuss the implications for practice, policy, and research. Medical advances and greater longevity point to healthier and longer lives for many, but both formal and informal caregiving remain a concern as individuals age and develop conditions that require care. Caregivers are often able to realize the positive aspects of caregiving when they are not struggling with financial or social support challenges. Despite the vast literature on caregiving in general, research pertaining to the needs and experiences of racial/ethnic minority older adults and their caregivers is limited, particularly for American Indians, Pacific Islanders, specific Asian American and Latino subgroups, and religious minorities groups such as Muslim Americans.
This chapter discusses current thinking in the field of social support and social relationships, and physical and mental health among older racial and ethnic minorities. Social relationships are an important predictor of health and psychological well-being across the life course. Many minority older adults will face the continued challenges of declining functional status due to physical and mental health conditions over the course of their lives. Most empirical studies on social support among older racial and ethnic minority adults explore the association between social support and both physical and mental health. The wealth of studies on social support among minority older adults has much to offer with respect to understanding the correlates of emotional support and patterns of assistance. The biological mechanisms explaining the link between social support and physical health outcomes have been largely unexplored among older racial and ethnic minority groups.
Holland theorized six distinct worker personalities (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional). This is often referred to as RIASEC. The theory includes six work environments that correspond to the same personality types (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional). Although people possess aspects of each type, the general thesis of the theory is that salient types (work personalities) will emerge in each individual. Holland’s work represents a significant contribution to career development and counseling. Understanding Holland’s focus on interests as expressions of personality aids career counselors and student development specialists in helping students gain critical self-understanding. Exploring the match between personalities and work environments is a fundamental aspect of applying this theory to student development. Helping students to explore and learn about different careers that may be of interest to them is congruent with the goals of higher education institutions and student development theories.
The general racial/ethnic identity theories offer some insight into possible ways to approach diversity education within all aspects of student affairs. Student affairs professionals and faculty could facilitate educational programs, seminars, and workshops that challenge students to confront issues of prejudice and racism as well as to cultivate racial or ethnic pride. These programs should address the external conditions in which students explore their identity and how to make meaning of shifting thoughts as they progress in their racial or ethnic identity development. By looking at diversity through the lens of racial or ethnic orientation, professionals can meet students where they are and help them not only understand other cultures, but also how they fit into their own race/ethnicity. Practitioners might also use these models as a way to gain insight as to where students might be in their racial/ethnic identity development.
At its core, Kolb’s construct of experiential learning is more than simply a theory. Experiential learning theory (ELT) holds that learning is “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”. Although ELT is often used in formal classroom settings, there are many out-of-classroom environments in student affairs that use and benefit from it as well. One way in which colleges and universities use experiential learning is through service-learning courses and projects. Several scholars have reported that using service learning in conjunction with ELT provides students with meaningful ways to engage not only with the community, but also to come to know more about diversity and social justice. Because out-of-classroom learning is such a key component in higher education and in the holistic development of students, using Kolb’s experiential learning model can aid students in meaning making as it facilitates personal growth.
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Informal Social Support Networks of African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American Older Adults
This chapter provides a selective review of research on social support among older African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American adults. It focuses on social support as a dependent variable in relation to different sources and types of aid provided to older African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American adults. The chapter highlights the findings in three specific areas: marriage and romantic relationships, extended family and non-kin as sources of informal social support, and black-white differences in informal social support. Informal social support networks are critical for individuals of all ages but especially for older adults who are dealing with difficult life circumstances. Older African Americans depend on informal social support networks of family and friends for assistance in emergency situations, as well as for help with various tasks of daily life. Elderly Asians often utilize kin and social support networks for a variety of reasons.
The Myers–Briggs type indicator (MBTI) was designed to help people understand themselves and others by helping them appreciate the diverse strengths of different personality types. It has been widely used in counseling as well as business to work on team building and relationships. There is, therefore, room for using this assessment within the field of student affairs to help build teams and groups both for professionals in the field and for students. This chapter discusses the basic information about the MBTI and implications for student affairs. The instrument is considered as a personality assessment for normal individuals designed to assess personality type. The MBTI offers strength-based guidance in every realm of living concerning individual growth to interpersonal relationships, in academic matters to spiritual terrains. From the office of the president to the chaplain, the MBTI is a useful and effective tool on a college campus.