Stressful life event experiences of homeless adults: A comparison of single men, single women, and women with children
This article describes stressful life events experienced by a multi‐shelter sample of 162 homeless adults in the Central Florida area. Participants included homeless single men (n = 54), homeless single women (n = 54), and homeless women with children (n = 54). Subjects were interviewed with a modified version of the List of Threatening Experiences (Brugha & Cragg, 1990). Findings indicate that the two groups of women were more likely to have been both physically and sexually abused as children than single men. Single women were more likely to have experienced sexual violence over the age of 18, experienced domestic violence, and been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. Single men were more likely to have abused drugs and alcohol, and to have been incarcerated. Women with children were more likely to have lived in foster care. Overall, single women experienced significantly more stressful life events than single men and women with children. These findings suggest that the three groups are unique and would benefit from prevention and/or treatment approaches developed for the specific subgroup.
Examining ethnic identity among Mexican-origin adolescents living in the U.S.
This study used structural equation modeling to test a model of ethnic identity development among 513 Mexican-origin adolescents living in the United States. The model examined the influence of ecological factors, familial ethnic socialization, and autonomy on adolescents’ ethnic identity achievement. Findings indicated that lower percentages ofMexican-origin individuals attending adolescents’schools and fewer members of adolescents’ immediate family born in the United States were each associated with greater familial ethnic socialization; furthermore, familial ethnic socialization was positively related to ethnic identity achievement. These findings suggest that ecological factors indirectly influence ethnic identity achievement through their influence on familial ethnic socialization.
Viewing telephone therapy through the lens of attachment theory and infant research
This article discusses the use of the telephone for psychotherapy and applies basic tenets of attachment theory and research on infant development to understand the therapy process. Clinical case examples of four models of attachment (“secure,” “insecure ambivalent,” “insecure avoidant,” “disorganized”) illustrate diverse patient capacities to use the telephone during a planned 10-week break from ongoing, in-person treatment. It is suggested that telephone therapy may be variously effective based on the attachment system that becomes activated due to the separation, and patients with insecure avoidant or disorganized attachment patterns may have more difficulty managing the alternative treatment modality.
Kitchen Capitalism: Microenterprise in Low-Income Households
Developing the Ethnic, Identity Scale using Eriksonian and social identity perspectives
Two studies were conducted to develop and explore the psychometric properties of the newly developed Ethnic Identity Scale (EIS). Consistent with Erikson’s and Tajfel’s theoretical perspectives, the EIS assesses 3 domains of ethnic identity formation: exploration, resolution, and affirmation. In both studies, participants (N = 846) completed measures of familial ethnic socialization and self-esteem in addition to completing the EIS. In Study 1, we employed exploratory and confirmatory analyses to examine, refine, and confirm the factor structure of the EIS among university students (n = 615). In Study 2, we examined the psychometric properties of the EIS among high school students (n = 231). Results revealed a three-factor solution that reflected the proposed components of exploration, resolution, and affirmation. Furthermore, the three subscales were related in expected ways to measures of familial ethnic socialization and self-esteem.
Examining ethnic identity and self-esteem among biracial and monoracial adolescents
The psychological well-being and ethnic identity of biracial adolescents are largely underrepresented topics in current scholarly literature, despite the growing population of biracial and multiracial individuals in the United States. This study examined self-esteem, ethnic identity, and the relationship between these constructs among biracial and monoracial adolescents (n = 3282). Using analysis of covariance, significant differences emerged between biracial and monoracial adolescents on both a measure of self-esteem and a measure of ethnic identity. Specifically, biracial adolescents showed significantly higher levels of self-esteem than their Asian counterparts, but significantly lower self-esteem than Black adolescents. Furthermore, biracial adolescents scored significantly higher than Whites on a measure of ethnic identity, but scored lower than their Black, Asian, and Latino peers on the same measure. Finally, correlational analyses revealed a significant and positive relationship between ethnic identity and self-esteem for all groups.
Stress and working aprents
Over the past few decades, the number of dual-earner families in the United States has increased substantially (Waite and Nielsen 2001). Stress that most working families experience is evident in a variety of situations and is likely to affect other relationships at work and at home. Although scholars view stress as likely to be experienced by individuals at various levels every day, few studies have looked at stress over the course of a day or week or in a variety of different situations (special issue of the American Psychologist on Stress and Coping, 55, 2000). In this chapter, we study the stress levels of working couples at work, home and in leisure. We investigate how high and low stress mothers and fathers perceive their experiences of work and leisure as well as relationships with their spouse and children. To understand how stress is experienced and how it affects others in the family, we use data obtained from the Alfred P. Sloan 500 Family Study, which includes survey information, time diary data (i.e., the Experience Sampling Method or ESM) and intensive interviews.
Race/ethnicity and marital status in IADL caregiver networks
Racial/ethnic variations in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) caregiver network composition were examined in a nationally representative sample of elders, using task specificity and hierarchical compensatory theoretical perspectives. Logistic regressions tested network differences among White, Black, and Mexican American elders (n = 531 married, n = 800 unmarried). Findings concerning racial/ethnic differences were partially dependent on marital status, differentiation of spouses from other informal helpers among married elders, and which racial/ethnic groups were compared. Networks including formal caregivers did not differentiate married or unmarried Black from White elders but were more common among unmarried Mexican American elders than for comparable White and Black elders. Married Black elders with solely informal networks were more likely than comparable White elders to have informal helpers other than the spouse. Racial/ethnic similarities and differences in caregiver networks are discussed relative to their sociocultural context, including marital status, elder’s and spouse’s health, and financial resources.
Show me the money: Estimating public expenditures to improve outcomes for children, families, and communities
Understanding how money is spent to educate children and support families in local communities can help improve community decision making about public resources. This article reports on a process used in Los Angeles to derive estimates of total public expenditures on services for children and families in the community around the University of Southern California campus. Findings reveal the substantial amount of public resources spent by schools and other public agencies in one inner-city community. They also show that only one-half of the resources available for children in this inner-city neighborhood are controlled by the school district. Because each institution is responsible for its own budget, an overview of combined resources is generally not available to inform policy makers and help community groups take local action. The authors suggest steps that could be used to better understand resource allocation patterns in other communities.
Enhancing relationships in nursing homes through empowerment
As our population ages, an increasing need exists for gerontological social workers. An improtant role for these social workers is to help empower older people and their caregivers (Cox & Parsons, 1994). Within the “top-down” hierarchy of nusing homes, the contributions of family members and nurses aides often are overlooked, resulting in feelings of powerlessness and resentment (Mok & Mui, 1996; Tellis-Nayak, 1988). This article describes a model in which social workers help empower these caregivers to become involved in planning the care of nusing home residents.
Staff development and secondary traumatic stress among AIDS staff
This study explored the relationship between staff development in AIDS service organizations and the specific reactions of staff as manifested by secondary traumatic stress (STS) and turnover intention (TI). It was hypothesized that there was a relationship between staff development and secondary traumatic stress, that the type of staff development activity was relevant (training, education, social support) and impacted staff desire to stay on the job. It was also hypothesized that secondary traumatic stress influenced the turnover intention of staff. A total of 322 respondents, currently providing direct service to People with HIV/AIDS (PWAs), from 29 community based AIDS service organizations in New York City completed a four part questionnaire that included the Compassion Fatigue/Satisfaction Scale (CF/S), a scale of staff development activities, demographics, and qualitative questions regarding current work experience.;Analysis resulted in the use of the three dimensions of CF/S, (compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, burnout) instead of one score for secondary traumatic stress. Results indicated staff development was significantly related to compassion satisfaction, and burnout, but not compassion fatigue. Social support, training and education were all significantly related to compassion satisfaction. Training and social support were related to burnout. A significant relationship existed between all components of staff development and turnover intention. Turnover intention was also significantly related to all dimensions of secondary traumatic stress. Results of this study highlight the importance of varied and quality staff development in ASOs to enhance retention, decrease burnout and increase compassion satisfaction. The study represents the first time secondary traumatic stress has been linked to workplace conditions such as staff development. The implications of this study are relevant for design and management of staff development in ASOs, the preparation, professional development, and self-care of direct service staff in the HIV/AIDS field, and further theoretical and conceptual clarification of the phenomena of secondary traumatic stress.
The NYC Writing Project: “Neglected `R'”
The October 2003 issue of Education Update features an article on the New York City Writing Project. In it, site directors Marcie Wolfe and Nancy Mintz discuss the core work of the 25-year-old site and talk about ways in which NYCWP is enacting recommendations of the National Commission on Writing in America’s Schools and Colleges.
Conceptualizing Prevention as the First Line of Offense Against Homelessness: Implications for the Federal Continuum of Care Model
The federal continuum of care model does not adequately address prevention as the first line of offense against homelessness. As a result, people with acute housing needs are quickly channeled into emergency shelters, exposing them to the destructive cycle of homelessness. Emergency shelters provide an island of refuge, but remove many people from the social mainstream, weaken their capacity for self-help, and increase risk of long-term dependency. Our position emerges from interviews with people residing in the largest homeless shelter in Central Florida, feedback from a regional advisory committee of civic leaders and service providers, and consistencies with findings reported in the literature. The Community Prevention Model that we offer for discussion reinforces competencies and strengths, promotes independent living and social mainstreaming, and utilizes emergency shelters as a last resort.
International adoptive lesbian families: Parental perceptions of the influence of diversity on family relationships in early childhood
This article explores parental perceptions of living with the multiple identities of being adoptive, transracial, transcultural or multicultural, lesbian families. Analysis is based on qualitative interviews (N=30) with 15 lesbian couples that created multicultural families through the adoption of children born outside the U.S. Interviews focused on the relationships in the early years of adoptive family life. Findings suggested that families face both challenges and opportunities because of their multicultural status. Parental perceptions of racism, homophobia, and heterosexism are discussed, as well as the influence of complex diversity on relationships within and outside the family unit.
Microenterprise Performance: A Comparison of Experiences in the United States and Uganda
This article compares microenterprise performance in the United States and Uganda. In-depth interview data and published sources suggest that many of the same factors affect business performance in both countries although scale and details vary considerably. Micro, mezzo, and macro strategies are proposed to maximize entrepreneurial effort, reduce barriers, and strengthen institutional and policy support in both contexts.
Is there a primary mom? Parental perceptions of attachment bond hierarchies within lesbian adoptive families
Basic tenets of attachment theory were evaluated in a qualitative study of 15 lesbian couples with internationally adopted children, focusing on parental perceptions of a primary mother-child attachment within the families. Interviews with 30 mothers examined variables affecting the hierarchy of parenting bonds, including division of labor, time with the child, and parental legal status. All children developed attachments to both mothers, but 12 of the 15 had primary bonds to one mother despite shared parenting and division of labor between the partners. Quality of maternal caretaking was a salient contributing factor; no significant relationship existed between primary parenting and parental legal status.
Generational differences in resistance to peer pressure among Mexican-origin adolescents
This study examined whether Mexican-origin adolescents (N=1,062) who varied by generational status in the United States would differ with regard to their resistance to peer pressure. After controlling for sex, results indicated that resistance to peer pressure varied significantly by generational status. Adolescents who reported no familial births in the United States were significantly more resistant to peer pressure than those who reported one or more familial births in the United States. No significant differences in resistance to peer pressure emerged among adolescents who reported one familial birth in the United States and those who reported two or more familial births in the United States.
Predicting commitment to wed among Hispanic and Anglo partners
Ethnic differences in commitment to wed were examined between 46 Hispanics (27 women, 19 men) and 160 Anglos (84 women, 76 men). Although limited by sample sizes, findings indicated that Hispanics and Anglos did not differ, on average, on measures of attitudes toward marriage, perceived family influence, commitment to wed, belongingness, and trust. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that, after controlling for age and income, attitudes toward marriage, perceived family support, and trust predicted commitment to wed for women, whereas only perceived family support emerged as a predictor among men. Finally, although no ethnic differences emerged for men, the degree to which trust, perceived family support, and attitudes toward marriage predicted commitment to wed for women varied by ethnicity.
Marital conflict and aggression, children’s aggressive schemas, and child maladjustment: An investigation with clinic-referred families
Various dimensions of marital conflict have been shown to be negatively associated with child functioning. The present study was conducted as an effort to assess the degree to which there is correspondence across different family members’ reports of marital conflict and to increase understanding of the associations between interparental conflict and aggression, children’s aggressive schemas, and child maladjustment in a clinically-referred sample. Thirty-eight children (ages 7 to 13) seeking psychological treatment/evaluation services for behavioral and emotional problems at local mental health clinics were recruited to participate, along with their parents. Mothers, fathers, and children reported on overt interparental conflict, interparental verbal and physical aggression, children’s interpersonal problem-solving strategies and beliefs about aggression, and children’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Results indicated a significant degree of correspondence across different family members’ reports of various dimensions of marital conflict. Significant positive associations were found between various aspects of interparental conflict (as reported by parents and children) and children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. Children’s perception of threat during interparental conflict was significantly associated with less accepting beliefs about the legitimacy of aggression, particularly among older children. Children’s perception of interparental conflict as poorly resolved was significantly associated with the endorsement of aggressive problem-solving strategies, particularly for those children whose mothers reported instances of physical or verbal interparental aggression within the past year. Contrary to expectations, parents’ reports of negative conflict characteristics were not significant predictors of children’s aggressive schemas. The strengths and limitations of the current investigation are discussed, along with the implications of these findings for future research and for clinical interventions with children and their families.
Patterns of informal support from family and church members among African Americans
Examined the family and church factors that predict social support from family and church members among African Americans. 2,107 African Americans completed interviews during the period 1979-1980 concerning: (1) demographic, family, and church power dissipation factors that predict family and church support configurations; and (2) specific patterns of assistance from the family and church members. Results show that 55.3% of subjects (Ss) received assistance from both family and church networks, 26.9% received assistance from family only, and 8.2% received help from church members only. 9.6% of Ss did not receive help from either family or church members. There were significant age, gender, marital status, and parental status differences in patterns of support from family and church. Perceptions of family closeness, degree of interaction with family, and overall levels of participation in church activities were associated with distinctive patterns of assistance.