Perspectives on Social Work: 2008

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This collection gathers content from two volumes of Perspectives on Social Work published in 2008.


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Now showing 1 - 17 of 17
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    Factors Influencing the Relationships between Grandparents and Grandchildren: A Literature Review
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Won, Seojin
    The number of non-custodial grandparents as childcare providers has decreased over the past three decades while the number of custodial grandparents has increased dramatically (Fuller-Thomson & Minkler, 2001). However, grandparents are still considered a resource in the family because they provide alternative resources and role models for grandchildren (Bengtson, Burton, & Rosenthal, 1993). Social workers increasingly have examined the needs of custodial grandparents who face many stressors, but the profession lacks current knowledge about functions of non-custodial grandparents who are important supports for families, which is especially crucial as the number of multigenerational households grow. As maternal employment rates rise, mothers increasingly seek alternative caregivers for their children. In 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that after fathers (24.7%), grandparents were most often alternative caregivers (28.3 %), followed by multiple arrangements (22.4%), and daycare centers (20.6%). Especially when children are young, mothers tend to choose grandparents as childcare providers.
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    Perspectives on Social Work Volume 7 (Fall 2008)
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Powell, Anne; Park, Juyoung; Gezinski, Lindsay; Won, Seojin; Kanno, Hanae; McCormick, Adam
    This is the full-text volume of Perspectives on Social Work, vol. 7 (Fall 2008).
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    Application of Conflict Theory to Welfare Policy
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Gezinski, Lindsay
    Conflict theory represents a useful perspective in the conceptualization of welfare policy. Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward (1971) theorized that government distributes financial assistance (e.g., welfare) in response to conflict (e.g., rioting by the poor masses). Thus, welfare is a mechanism of control used in an effort to squelch rebellious poor people’s movements. The goal of this paper is to analyze the validity of Piven and Cloward’s thesis through a review of empirical literature that supports and challenges this thesis. Conflict theory will be utilized in a discussion of how it may inform further research in the field of welfare policy.
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    Older Women with Psychoactive Medication Abuse
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Park, Juyoung
    The older population of the United States has dramatically increased over the past few decades; currently, approximately 13% of the nation’s population is categorized as older adults (persons over 65 years old). Moreover, it is expected that both absolute number and percentage of older people in the population will continue to increase. The number of persons over age 65 is projected to reach more than 70 million by the year 2030 and to constitute approximately 21% of the U.S. population (American Society on Aging, n.d.).
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    Predictive Factors of Secondary Traumatic Stress for Social Workers
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Kanno, Hanae
    Since the 1980s, when trauma researchers studied victims of disaster, Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) has emerged as a growing issue in social work practice settings (Figley, 1983). Figley (1999) defines STS as “the natural consequent behaviors and emotions resulting from knowing about a traumatizing event experienced by a significant other and resulting from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person” (p.10). Social workers who interact with traumatized populations (defined as any population that has experienced such trauma as violence, crime, natural disaster, or war) are strongly vulnerable to STS (Canfield, 2005; Ochberg, 1988). Working with traumatized clients not only challenges the emotional balance of social workers, but also makes them more vulnerable to overwhelming anger and/or sadness (Herman, 1992).
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    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Lopez, Kara; McIver, Saralyn; Delavega, Elena; Kaganoff, Eili; Franklin, Felina
    Editorial for volume 7 of Perspectives on Social Work, by journal editors Kara Lopez, Saralyn McIver, Elena Delavega, Eili Kaganoff, Felina Franklin.
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    The Impact of School Characteristics on Passing and Failing Status of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Powell, Anne
    Social policies for children and youth have experienced frequent philosophical shifts and taken considerably different directions in the past century (Jenson & Fraser, 2006). Many social policies have been created in reaction to certain events or situations. A reactive approach to policy-making has led to inconsistent and fragmented policies and programs that often fall short of addressing the complex individual and social problems that confront many children, youth, and families (Jenson & Fraser, 2006). In 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act (NLCB). This landmark legislation serves as a powerful example of a reactive approach to policy development and has altered significantly the role of the federal government in public education.
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    Book Review Krebs, N. & Pitcoff, P. (2006). Beyond the Foster Care System: The future for teens. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Press.
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) McCormick, Adam
    In Beyond the Foster Care System: The future for teens Betsy Krebs and Paul Pitcoff provide significant insight into the current foster care system’s inability to prepare teens for adulthood. The authors illustrate some of the inadequate policies and programs currently in place through the revealing stories of teens transitioning from foster care to adulthood. A compelling argument is made suggesting that expectations for teens in foster care are far too low and efforts need to be made to empower these individuals through new policies and programs that have historically been absent from the field of child welfare. By chronicling the challenges and barriers of the foster youth the authors provide a face to the current foster care crisis in the United States.
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    Book Review Poulin, J. (2000). Collaborative social work: Strengths-based generalist practice. Itasca, IL: F.E. Peacock Publishers, Inc.
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Clark, Trenette T.
    The term strengths perspective seems to now be as popular in the social work field as solution-focused once was in the profession. However, according to Saleeby (1996), many practitioners that purport to conduct strengths-based practice, in fact, do not. In addition, although a focus on clients’ strengths is a value of the profession, Saleeby adds that the strengths perspective is “a dramatic departure from conventional social work practice (p.3).” Therefore, social work texts that clearly and extensively discuss the use of practice models that emerge from the strengths perspective are warranted.
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    Marriage in the Later Years: A Review of Factors That Affect Marital Satisfaction among Older Adults
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Easton, Scott D.
    Older Americans represent the fastest growing subset of the U.S. population. Although the general population tripled over the course of the last century, the population of those over 65 years of age increased by a factor of eleven (Friedrich, 2001). Furthermore, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that this population will soar from 33 million in 1994 to more than 80 million by the middle of the 21st century (Hobbs, 2001). Despite this ongoing demographic shift, older adults are vastly under-represented in marital research (Acitelli & Antonuuci, 1994; Goodman, 1999a; Trudel, Turgeon, & Piche, 2000) and few theoretical models exist to explain fluctuations in marital satisfaction for this population (Herman, 1994).
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    Perspectives on Social Work Volume 6 (Spring 2008)
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Almeida, Fabio A.; Smith, Jennifer; Easton, Scott D.; Newell, Jason M.; Clark, Trenette T.; Chanmugam, Amy; Small, Eusebius
    This is the full-text volume of Perspectives on Social Work, vol. 6 (Summer 2008).
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    The Role of Distant Intercessory Prayer in Social Work
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Smith, Jennifer
    Many social work professionals and academics are dubious when discussing the role of prayer within the context of practice intervention (Gubi, 2004). As a result, the field has witnessed little research regarding the efficacy of prayer in the clinical treatment of mental health. Despite research inadequacies, many social workers utilize prayer on behalf of their clients (Gubi, 2001). Given the push for evidence-based practice, the field of social work must begin to aggressively evaluate clinical treatment that involves prayer.
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    Secondary Traumatic Stress Reactions: A Review of Theoretical Terms and Methodological Challenges
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Newell, Jason M.
    The field of traumatology, particularly the study of secondary traumatic stress reactions, is a relatively new area of scientific inquiry which often presents methodological issues with the reliable measurement of this concept (Figley, 2002). The literature in this area lacks a universally-accepted definition describing a secondary traumatic stress reaction. Secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue are currently used interchangeably in the literature when describing this phenomenon. The need to establish clarity regarding the construct validity of these terms is one of the most pressing methodological issues in this area. This paper provides a review of the concepts in the literature describing secondary traumatic stress reactions and a discussion of the differences between these concepts.
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    Social Work and Sustainable Development: A Postmodern Community Development Framework
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Almeida, Fabio A.
    In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, world leaders faced strong skepticism and a cry from the world for more progress and results towards a more humane world. It is no secret that progress in implementing sustainable development has been extremely disappointing since the 1992 Earth Summit, with poverty deepening and environmental degradation worsening (United Nations, 2002). Under heavy pressure, world leaders pledged their commitment to sustainable development, while recognizing that poverty remained a major issue, “the deep fault line that divides human society between the rich and the poor and the ever-increasing gap between the developed and developing worlds pose a major threat to global prosperity, security and stability” (Johannesburg Declaration, 2003, p.2).
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    Moral Hopelessness and HIV/AIDS Global Paralysis
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Small, Eusebius
    No disease ever in history, other than the plague of the 14th century, has caused such serious psychological and emotional distress, affecting families and communities as the AIDS pandemic. The United Nations AIDS Program (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) now estimate the number of people living with HIV/AIDS today is 40 million. More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981. At the end of 2007, women accounted for 48% of all adults living with HIV worldwide, and for 59% of those in sub-Saharan Africa. Young people (under 25 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide and about 6,000 become infected with HIV everyday (UNAIDS/WHO, 2007). Most of the infected (22.5 million) live in Africa, a continent home to only 10% of the world’s population, but shouldering over 70% of all cases and 95% of all orphans according to the UNAIDS/WHO report.
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    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Lopez, Kara; McIver, Saralyn; Griffin-Garcia, Jack; Small, Eusebius; Delavega, Elena; Kaganoff, Eili
    Editorial for volume 6 of Perspectives on Social Work, by journal editors Kara Lopez, Saralyn McIver, Jack Griffin-Garcia, Eusebius Small, Elena Delavega and Eili Kaganoff.
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    Book Review: Radford, L. & Hester, M. (2006). Mothering through domestic violence. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2008) Chanmugam, Amy
    In this compelling paperback, Lorraine Radford and Marianne Hester seek to provide a wide audience with an overview of the rough terrain navigated by women who are mothers and who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). Their experiences with the state are described, in particular with family court systems and child protection systems. The book’s central theme is that state practices often replicate abusive power and control dynamics previously exerted over IPV survivors. Quotes throughout the book allow readers to hear women’s voices describing experiences of violence, mothering, state systems, and areas where these intersect. Being a mother is seen as a key factor in entrapment of women experiencing IPV because of “the fundamental contradiction between woman as mother and woman as lover in the social construction of western femininities.” (Radford & Hester, 2006, p. 47).