Perspectives on Social Work: 2013

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This collection gathers content from the volume of Perspectives on Social Work published in 2013.


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    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Fulmer, Christine; Augustine, M. Gail; Orji, Ifem E.; Hogarth, Kathy; Ashcroft, Rachelle; Lloyd, Margaret H.; Henderson, Zuleka; Hancock, Pamela
    This is the full-text volume of Perspectives on Social Work, vol. 9 (Fall 2013).
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    Reality TV Therapy: Implications for Mental Health Stigma and Service Utilization among African-American Adolescents
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Henderson, Zuleka
    The literature has documented the presence of mental health stigma in African-American communities. Researchers have investigated the impact of this stigma on treatment seeking behaviors for different sub-groups of African-Americans. Recently, a number of reality television (RTV) programs with African-American casts have broadcast episodes where their main characters engage in mental health counseling to address a range of concerns. While there have been some investigations into the impact of television programming on a number of youth behaviors, research has not yet explored the impact of these RTV programs on mental health stigma and service utilization among African-American teens. This paper suggests that examining the influence of this form of RTV programming may have noteworthy implications for addressing mental health stigma and African American adolescent mental health service use, and references some implications for social work practice with this population.
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    Community Based Participatory Research and Youth Tobacco Control: A Qualitative Interpretive Meta-Synthesis
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Bowers, Pamela Hancock
    Researchers have long sought to document best practices in both youth smoking prevention and cessation programming. Of the numerous interventions targeting tobacco use among youth, community based participatory research (CBPR) has increasingly gained popularity. Through the use of qualitative interpretive meta-synthesis (QIMS), this article provides a synthesis of CBPR studies used as the intervention approach involving youth and tobacco control. The exploratory research question was: what do CBPR projects add to the tobacco intervention spectrum? Several themes emerged including challenges, solutions, and opportunities. Results indicate as these interventions continue to be realized and their processes and outcomes assessed, partnerships can enhance the quality and effectiveness of such approaches. Implications include a greater need to document tobacco prevention CBPR projects in the scholarly forum and a need for clarity in documenting the impact, not just the process, of a CBPR project utilized for tobacco prevention and cessation.
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    Will History Repeat Itself? An Overview of the Development of Knowledge for the Professional Social Worker
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Lloyd, Margaret H.
    The Industrial Revolution transformed the social, economic, political and intellectual landscape of the United States. This transformation also manifested in a philosophical shift within social work practice, eventually leading to the field seeking professional status. In addition to briefly elaborating on this shift, this paper will discuss how the process of, and commitment to, professionalizing social work has affected the pursuit of knowledge over time, and has resulted, for better or for worse, in a professional emphasis on building practice knowledge through scientific research. As described in more detail herein, there have been mixed reactions and conflicting implications to social work’s commitment to positivist and neo-positivist methods as a means of garnering relevant knowledge. The conclusion of this analysis will address how these themes in social work’s history influence current practice, and will provide concrete suggestions toward a new direction for the profession.
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    A Perspective on the Historical Epistemology of Social Work Education
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Augustine, M. Gail; Gentle-Genitty, Carolyn S.
    Social work has used several paradigms to guide its educational knowledge base. The writings, beliefs, and perceptions of three of social work’s founders who have greatly influenced the history of social work education—Jane Addams, Mary Richmond, Edith Abbott—are examined here. This article seeks to explore the constructs and knowledge base of social work from this historical perspective. Specifically, it presents a discussion on the sources of knowledge developed in social work, explores the relationship between epistemology and research, discusses the historical context of the knowledge base, and concludes with some recommendations for social work education.
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    In Critical Demand or Crisis: The Identity of the Social Work Profession
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Hogarth, Kathy; Ashcroft, Rachelle
    Social work as a profession in Canada spans many decades and can be dated back to 1927 when professionalization was established through the Canadian Association of Social Workers or may even be traced further back to 1914 when the formal training of social workers began at University of Toronto (Hick, 2010). Despite its long history, and like most other professions, there still exist core issues within the profession which need to be addressed. The purpose of this paper is to identify critical issues in the profession of Social Work. Foremost among these issues is social work’s identity and relevance in today’s society. We contend that identity and relevance are not dichotomous entities but are intricately linked. If the profession social work is to remain relevant, we must grapple with and solve some of the identity issues at large. The exploration of social work’s identity will be undertaken within the framework of a comparative analysis of social work and psychology.
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    Conceptualizing Ethics Education under the Joint JD/MSW Degree Program: An Overview
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Orji, Ifem E.
    Several factors inhibit effective collaboration of social workers and lawyers. Notably are their respective professional codes of conducts which mandate divergent approaches to practice. As a result most of the dilemmas encountered by social workers and lawyers are often due to the clash of the respective ethics provisions. Interdisciplinary education has been embraced as a way to enable students to acquire the necessary skills and competencies for resolving ethical challenges in order to effectively collaborate at the several instances where their practices overlap. In view of the strategic relevance of the ethical imperatives of both professions, this article highlights various issues in developing interdisciplinary curriculum and pedagogical methods under the framework of the joint JD/MSW degree program.
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    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Backos-Block, Christine R.
    Editorial from Perspectives on Social Work Volume 9 (Fall 2013)
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    A Fish Out of Water: A Seasoned Professor from a Small Private University Discusses her First Experience as a Teaching Assistant at a Large State University
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2013) Fulmer, Christine
    The following article describes the teaching experience of a teaching assistant and PhD student at the University of XXX. The student is an associate professor at a small private college with no prior experience at a state university. The student teaches with a great breadth of latitude at the private college and does not have that same latitude in the role of a teaching assistant. She learns the meaning of the word ombud as well as other lessons from the chairs of the BSW and Doctoral programs. Additionally, she grows as an educator as she experiences more diversity in the classroom than she has in the past.