Perspectives on Social Work: 2016

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This collection gathers content from two volumes of Perspectives on Social Work published in 2016.


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    Perspectives on Social Work Volume 12 (Fall 2016)
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Gearhart, Michael; Caporale, Lacey; Sladky, Margaret Baughman; Singer, Mark I.; Wheeler, Madison; Tuschman, Paul; Frank, Jennifer M.; Himes, Monica; Sainato, Scott; Ascienzo, Sarah; Mauldin, Rebecca L.
    This is the full-text volume of Perspectives on Social Work, vol. 12 (Fall 2016).
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    EDITORIAL – Perspectives on Social Work: A community affair
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Mauldin, Rebecca L.
    Editorial for volume 12 of Perspectives on Social Work, by journal editor Rebecca L. Mauldin, LMSW.
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    An Analysis of Texas’ Bullying Policies & Practices
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Sainato, Scott
    Bullying is a serious problem affecting youth, families, and communities. Bullying is not an individual problem, but a family and societal one as well. Schools play a vital role in combating this issue. This study evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the state of Texas’ policy addressing bullying through a comprehensive policy analysis. This study also outlines and provides a guide to future policy makers, school officials, and families on how to reduce and hopefully eliminate bullying
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    Reflections on the Scientist-Practitioner Model in Social Work Doctoral Education
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Ascienzo, Sarah
    The scientist-practitioner model (S-P) is one of the primary frameworks social work has utilized in an effort to infuse research into practice and practice into research. With a firm practitioner orientation already embedded into bachelor and master of social work programs, concerted efforts have been made to infuse the scientist aspect of the model into these programs. Conversely, at the doctoral level the primary focus shifts to developing researchers and so while the scientist orientation is firmly rooted in PhD curriculums the practitioner aspect of the model is less evident. However, parallel efforts to infuse doctoral programs with a stronger practitioner orientation are lacking. Through a reflection on my experiences as a first year doctoral student as they relate to the S-P model, considerations for social work doctoral education are discussed. My experiences reveal the utility of the fully realized model in developing mutually reinforcing research, teaching, and practice skills, as well as illustrate how adopting a stronger practitioner focus may help to bring programs more into alignment with the field’s practice orientation and aid in bridging the research-practice gap.
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    Clients and Students: Reflections on the Parallels Found Between Direct Social Work Practice and Social Work Education
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Himes, Monica
    This article discusses the reflections of a social work educator turned doctoral student during her first semester of doing both concurrently. Interesting parallels found between the social worker/client and social work educator/student relationships are examined. Foundational social work concepts such as the right to self-determination, dual relationships, and resilience are each discussed from the perspective of a social worker balancing multiple roles and some conclusions drawn about the usefulness of basic social work skills in a variety of settings.
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    Medication Assisted Treatment: Experiences from the Field
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Gearhart, Michael; Caporale, Lacey; Baughman-Sladky, Margaret; Singer, Mark I.; Wheeler, Madison; Tuschman, Paul
    The use of heroin and other opiates has increased considerably in recent years with many users becoming involved with the criminal justice system. Because of this growth, the use of medication assisted treatment is becoming increasingly popular in courts that specialize in opiate addictions. This paper analyzes the experiences of treatment teams in courts that specialize in providing medication assisted treatment. Overall, perceptions of medication assisted treatment were positive although service providers identified some limitations. Recognizing the benefits and limitations of medication assisted treatment is useful for social work practice that focuses on opiate addictions because heroin use continues to rise.
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    Guest Editorial-Social Justice in Social Work Practice and Education
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Robbins, Susan P.
    Editorial for volume 12 of Perspectives on Social Work, by journal editor Susan P. Robbins, Ph.D, LCSW.
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    Perspectives on Social Work Volume 12 (Spring 2016)
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Walsh, Matthew A.; Holman, Elizabeth G.; Paceley, Megan S.; Peterson, Heather Leona; Thomas, De'Shay; Lateef, Husain; Cronin, Travis W.; Moon, Ingyu
    This is the full-text volume of Perspectives on Social Work, vol. 12 (Spring 2016).
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    Paradigms Found in Reunification Research
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Walsh, Matthew A.
    When children are removed from their parents by the child welfare system, reunification is almost always the initial goal and is actually the most likely scenario (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2014). It is not surprising, then, that the process of reunification is an important area of focus within child welfare research. As with all research topics, child welfare literature is shaped by the studies and the researchers that contribute to it. Those researchers, in turn, are shaped by their own individual paradigms or frameworks in that these paradigms influence the type of research questions that social work researchers attempt to answer and the sources of data they use to do so. The paradigms of positivism, constructivism, and critical theory can be found in much of the reunification literature. The purpose of this paper is to highlight that, while each paradigm has its own strength, a combination of all three provides the best research for explaining, understanding, and addressing the reunification process as a whole. Individual studies are used to highlight this point.
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    Developing an Exercise Routine among People with Serious Mental Illness in the Clubhouse Structured Exercise Program
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Moon, Ingyu
    Using a psychosocial rehabilitation approach, the clubhouse model provides community-based services to address the multiple health and mental health needs of adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). Research resulting from two clubhouse programs demonstrated the effectiveness of a Clubhouse Structured Exercise (CSE) program on client outcomes. The main purpose of this study was to examine changes in Health-related Quality of Life (HRQOL) and selected healthrelated psychosocial factors (i.e. health motivation; health self-efficacy and self-esteem), which are associated with the level of physical activity in the CSE program. Second, this study explored the process of developing an exercise routine among people with SMI participating in the CSE, who are diagnosed with SMI. Twenty-five participants were selected from two leading clubhouses, which have developed strong CSE Programs. A mixed method was used to find changes of health-related outcomes through pre- and post-testing, as well as to gather qualitative information. The results of this study provided evidence of improvement in the perceived quality of life (physical health) and some health-related psychosocial factors. The findings from the qualitative interviews show the motivational and behavioral process of changing health behavior through the CSE Program.
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    Theoretical Models of Adult Suicide Behavior Based on Psychodynamic and Cognitive Theory
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Peterson, Heather Leona
    Suicide is a significant societal problem, with vast social and economic consequences. Though studies suggest that interacting with suicidal clients is highly probable, many social workers lack the knowledge to manage this difficult task. Recently, research has called for social workers to reformulate classical theory to advance our understanding of suicidal ideation and behavior. The current article proposes two explanatory models of suicidal behavior based on divergent classical theories. Both theories’ underlying assumptions were examined, in order to generate and compare the resultant models. Such efforts ensure that clinical practice and future research on suicidal behavior have sound theoretical grounding.
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    Fostering Research and Diversity Competencies for Students and Scholars: The Case of an Interdisciplinary Research Seminar
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Holman, Elizabeth G.; Paceley, Megan S.
    Social work education on LGBT populations has focused on practice with, rather than the challenges of research with, LGBT people. Similarly, scholarly attention has been paid to methods for teaching about research, but there is a lack of focus on the intricacies involved in conducting research with marginalized populations. To address this gap within social work education, the authors developed a new approach for teaching LGBT research and diversity competencies: a year-long LGBT Research Seminar. This outlines the process of developing the successful seminar and highlights the project outcomes.
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    Intersectional Social Work Perspectives on the Systemic Killing of Black Men
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Thomas, De'Shay; Lateef, Husain; Cronin, Travis W.
    Three doctoral students in social work with differing positionalities came together to condemn the systemic killing of Black men. This condemnation is codified through reflexive narratives of their experiences. These authors align their narratives with the National Association of Social Workers code of ethics (2008) and with an intersectional perspective. These social workers reflect on how they became conscious of the systemic killing of Black men and call for social workers and the social work profession to work towards a more robust set of protections for Black lives.
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    Fostering a Developmental Perspective in Understanding Youth Homelessness
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2016) Frank, Jennifer M.
    Of the approximately 565,000 people experiencing homelessness at a given point in time in the United States, over 200,000 are persons in families, representing about 35% of the entire homeless population. This prevalence estimate provides a strong basis for concern about the potential effects of homelessness experienced by the children in those families. Homelessness is a challenging and traumatic experience for anyone. For children experiencing homelessness, the damage can be even more pervasive given their position in the process of development. The experience of homelessness offers a package of substantially negative effects that should be viewed in light of the differential developmental process. This paper explores the research on the negative life outcomes experienced by homeless children including disparities in health and in educational outcomes. It concludes by discussing implications for policy and practice.