• An exploratory study of the intergenerational relationships of adults raised as stepchildren and their stepparents.

      Davis, Ginger S.; Janzen, Curtis (1993)
      The purpose of this exploratory study was threefold: (1) to describe the relationships of adult stepchildren and their stepparents, those that raised them; (2) to compare the responses of the adult stepchildren about their stepparents to those about their biological parents, those married to the stepparent; and (3) to compare the responses of the adult stepchildren about their stepparents to responses of the stepparents about those adult stepchildren. The method of data collection was mailed questionnaires. There were 50 stepchild respondents and 21 related stepparent respondents. Questionnaires were developed from a synthesis of literature reviews on stepchild/stepparent relationships of minor aged stepchildren, intergenerational relationships of adults and their parents, and theoretical frameworks of social exchange theory, role theory, and systems theory. The synthesis suggested relationship variables about affection, ambivalence, assistance, association, and filial obligation. Other variables were about family structure and individual demographics. Methods of data analysis included measures of central tendency and percentages for descriptive findings, t-tests for comparative analysis, various correlation tests for strength of association, and z statistics for testing proportions. The significance level for this exploratory study was set at.20. Major findings include (1) stepchild/stepparent relationships have some significant differences from stepchild/biological parent relationships, but absent perceived abuse of the stepchild by the stepparent in childhood, differences are reduced in number by half and nearly all are reduced in size and strength; (2) being a stepmother is associated with less positive relationships than being a stepfather; and (3) stepchild/stepparent relationships as reported by each, stepchild and stepparent, do have some incongruencies, but are more characterized by congruity of perception and by reciprocity than not. Conclusions are that (1) for the most part, adults raised as stepchildren relate positively to both step and biological parents; (2) stepfamily members may need to make extra efforts to overcome difficulties apparently inherent in the stepchild/stepmother relationship; (3) perceived childhood abuse of stepchild by stepparent effects stepfamily relationships beyond childhood; and (4) in general, adult stepchildren and their stepparents demonstrate shared perceptions of their relationship.
    • Independent living among community-based elderly: The impact of social support and sense of coherence

      Lewis, Judith Salter; Hegar, Rebecca L. (1993)
      This research began with an interest in enhancement of independent functioning among community based elderly. As the population ages, increasing numbers of older people, though not in need of institutional care, may need a variety of supports to maintain independence. Housing residents and administrators are faced with complex challenges as problems related to advanced aging occur, and independent functioning is threatened. In the interest of careful planning to maintain the best person-environment fit, and maintain maximum independence, systematic research can build knowledge that contributes to meeting these goals. This research involved assessing the factors of social support and sense of coherence as they relate to independent living ability among a group of 128 elderly residents of a metropolitan senior housing complex. Cross-sectional data were gathered using a pre-coded questionnaire in individual in-person interviews with a nonprobability sample of consenting residents. Independent living ability was measured by ADL and IADL scales from the OARS multidimensional assessment questionnaire. Social support was measured using the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire (Norbeck, et al., 1983), and Antonovsky's Sense of Coherence Questionnaire (1979) was used to measure sense of coherence. Data were analyzed using multiple regression. Hypotheses predicted relationships between each of the independent variables (social support and sense of coherence) and independent living ability after controlling for five demographic variables (age, education, income, number of living children, length of time at the complex). Findings did not support the predicted models. Since substantive knowledge lends some credibility to the connection between social support, sense of coherence, and well-being among the elderly, explanations for study findings are attributed to design and methodological factors. Low reliability of the dependent measure for this study may be explained by limited sample variability in ADL/IADL tasks. Random sampling and the use of a more varied sample is advisable in replication of this study.
    • Spiritual growth of recovering alcoholic Adult Children of Alcoholics

      Carroll, Maria M.; Janzen, Curtis (1993)
      Jungian theory was used as a way of understanding human behavior and personality development and of enlarging the knowledge base for social work practice. The primary purposes of this exploratory multi-case study were: (1) to identify resources and methods which clinicians may use for promoting personality-spiritual development; and (2) to clarify and expand the profession's knowledge and understanding of spirituality and the transpersonal dimension of the person. The research participants, recovering alcoholic adult children of alcoholics, were assigned to one of two groups based on level of self-actualization (ten self-actualized; seven not-self-actualized) as determined by the Personal Orientation Inventory. Data collection included intensive interviews using Fowler's Faith Development Interview Instrument and the Recovery Interview Guide and the administration of several questionnaires: Clinical Measurement Package Index of Peer Relationships, Symptom Check List-90-Revised, and Problem Check List. A quantitative approach was used to identify the number of resources and methods which recovering alcoholic ACOAs used in their recovery and to relate level of spiritual development with current life functioning which included length of sobriety, faith stage, symptomatology, and problems in daily living. Qualitative methods addressed the types of resources and methods used in the recovery process as well as the respondents' views of spirituality and creativity. Respondents identified specific resources and methods as being particularly helpful. Positive relationships were found between level of self-actualization and most indicators of current life functioning, however, a negative relationship was found between level of self-actualization and length of sobriety. Different definitions of spirituality were made explicit, and a sketch of a new model which offers a broader view of the person was presented as a way of extending the current thinking about spirituality and a person's spiritual development. Implications of the findings for clinicians, researchers, and theoreticians were discussed.
    • Stress buffers for adults in two rural Maryland counties

      Rother, Raymond Richard; Nucho, Aina O. (1993)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate, in a rural population, a variety of stress buffers that have been investigated elsewhere. These buffers were first analyzed to determine their effect on the well-being of adults in two rural counties of Maryland. Next, comparisons were made between rural, urban, clinic and general rural population samples. Finally, suggestions were made about the importance of these findings for social workers in rural areas. A questionnaire comprised of the General Well-Being Questionnaire (GWBQ), Sense of Coherence Questionnaire (SOCQ) and several demographic questions was mailed to a random sample of households by telephone listing. There were 202 useable questionnaires returned (62% return rate) by nearly equal numbers of male and female heads of household. The questionnaire was also completed by 31 adults requesting treatment from the mental health clinics in the two counties. A separate hierarchical multiple regression was performed for each of 23 buffer variables represented in subscales of the GWBQ and the SOCQ. The other subscales in the GWBQ were used as measures of well-being and stressor level. Well-being was considered the dependent variable with stressor level and the 23 possible buffers all independent variables. For each of the buffer variables, respondents' well-being was regressed first on stressor level, second on buffer variable (main effect) and third on the cross product of stressor level x buffer variable (buffer effect). Buffer and stressor variables were considered to have a main effect if their respective effects on a person's well-being were independent of each other and a buffer effect if their effects on a person's well-being were interdependent. For the general rural population studied, 12 of the buffer variables showed a main effect on well-being (p =.001) with 7 accounting for more than 12% of the variance in well-being above that accounted for by stressor level. For the clinic sample, 8 buffer variables had a main effect (p =.001). None of the buffer variables showed a buffer effect beyond the main effect. Sense of coherence (two versions), social support, sense of purpose, effectence, present time perspective and direct coping style were factors that contributed to people's well-being. These factors deserve the attention of social workers and other mental health professionals working in rural areas.
    • The construction and testing of a measure of parental knowledge of home-based injury risks to preschool children

      Fickling, Judith Ann Whiting; Orme, John G. (1993)
      Injury of children is a major public health problem; each year, more children die from preventable, unintentional injuries than from all other childhood diseases combined. The high incidence of residential childhood injuries suggests that parents may not be aware of safety risks present in the home, of injury control strategies, or of children's developmental capabilities. Other studies have demonstrated the need of parents of all socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds for injury control information and interventions. The ability to determine parents' awareness of injury control issues is critical to the development of effective and efficient injury prevention interventions. No measure of parental knowledge of injury control with demonstrated reliability and validity is available. This study developed and tested the reliability and validity of a measure of parental knowledge of residential injury risks to preschool children. Two methods were used to develop and test the Awareness of Risks in the Child's Home (ARCH) for reliability and validity: intensive interview and survey. The intensive interview was used to determine the readability and clarity of a pool of items. Four surveys were conducted with different convenience samples to (1) assess the content validity of the pool of items, (2) assess the internal consistency and construct validity of the ARCH, (3) assess the criterion (known groups) validity of the ARCH, and (4) assess the test-retest reliability of the ARCH. Two factors emerged from the 40-item measure. The 11-item factor named Informed Knowledge obtained an internal consistency reliability of.75 and a test-retest reliability of.42; the 8-item factor named Conventional Knowledge obtained an internal consistency reliability of.70 and a test-retest reliability of.80. A statistically significant difference between the scores on the measure of the public health sample and the pediatrician sample was obtained. A statistically significant correlation also was obtained by each factor with a measure of locus of control. Results of this initial attempt to construct a measure of parental knowledge of home-based injury risks to preschool children suggests potential for further development of the ARCH. Future testing should include other populations, such as mothers from different socioeconomic groups and with fathers and male guardians.
    • An examination of critical incident stress debriefing for emergency service providers: A quasi-experimental field survey

      Rogers, Ogden Willis; Vassil, Thomas V. (1993)
      Stress reactions have been considered a significant problem for providers of emergency services in the aftermath of traumatic events known as Critical Incidents. A group crisis intervention technique known as Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) has become known as a useful approach to mitigate the stress reactions considered common to these events. In this dissertation, CISD was examined using standardized stress outcome measures in two groups of emergency medical and fire/rescue providers. The CISD process builds on work from a symbolic-interaction, and field theory perspective. All subjects in the study were emergency services providers who had been exposed to emergency rescue operations that met operationalized definitions of exposure to a critical incident. Subsequent selection by the various groups led some of the subjects to engage in the CISD process, while others did not. Demographic and qualitative data were obtained about the various rescue events. A Quasi-experimental, non-equivalent, pretest-posttest design measured psychosocial stress response using the Impact of Event and the Everly Stress Inventory. Data were obtained at measurements directly pre-intervention and again at 60 days. Data were analyzed using qualitative and multiple regression techniques. The data were suggestive that the CISD process was helpful in reducing psychosocial stress through inculcating a moderate increase in a sense of control about the critical incident. Recommendations are made as to directions for further study.
    • Childhood experiences, personality development and marital interactional patterns in women with chronic benign back pain

      Pecukonis, Edward Vincent; Altstein, Howard (1993)
      The present research consisted of a series of two interrelated studies that explored the role of childhood experience, personality development and marital interactional patterns in shaping adult responses to physical pain. The first study utilized a case-control design to explore the role of traumatic childhood experiences in developing chronic benign back pain in a group of women drawn from a large urban health center. Within this study, the developmental variables of primary caretaker alcoholism and childhood sex abuse, were combined with the psychological variables of alexithymia, Health Locus of Control and Physical Self-Efficacy in an attempt to discriminate between groups of women with chronic benign back pain (n = 59) and control subjects (n = 53). Participants were screened for chronic benign back pain by two physicians who utilized a back pain checklist. All participants comprising the cases and controls sampling frame were then surveyed on the predictor variables. A hierarchical logistic regression model was utilized to ascertain the utility of the proposed model in predicting group membership. The results suggest that the proposed psycho-social model was useful in identifying subjects with this debilitating condition. The individual predictor variables of increasing age, being married and exposure to an alcoholic caretaker were associated with an increased risk of developing chronic benign back pain. Perceived self-efficacy physical presentation confidence was found to be protective.;The second study utilized methods of qualitative or naturalistic inquiry to explore the role of chronic benign back pain within the marriages of twelve women, drawn from the original case's sampling frame, who were sexually abused by a male alcoholic caretaker. Detailed social histories were compiled on the back pain subject and her spouse and used to create a psychosocial impairment typology consisting of three categories: (1) dysfunctional couples group, (2) dysfunctional husbands group and (3) dysfunctional wives group. Couples were then assessed regarding the impact of the chronic pain complaint on eight key areas of their marital relationship: (1) sexual adjustment, (2) emotional intimacy, (3) verbal expressions of emotions, (4) self esteem, (5) conflict resolution, (6) decision making styles, (7) social activities and (8) roles. Findings suggest that chronic benign pain and its associated emotional suffering, differentially served six interpersonal functions for the couples. These functions were related to their classification within the psychosocial impairment typology and consisted of: (1) legitimizing the expression of affects, (2) realigning hierarchical structures, (3) enhancing self presentation, (4) legitimizing pre-pain sexual dysfunction, (5) regulating emotional intimacy and (6) protection/reduction of violence. Implications for future research and social work practice are discussed. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
    • Chatting over the fence: A qualitative study of cancer and prevention behavior in a high-risk rural area

      Plaskon, Patricia Perone; Belcher, John R. (1993)
      Poor cancer prevention practice leads to morbidity and mortality, with negative social consequences for individuals, families, and communities. The lay experience of poor prevention practice is not well understood by professionals, which limits the effectiveness of interventions to decrease the physical and social effects of cancer. Therefore, a qualitative approach was used to explore prevention behavior in a geographic region with high cancer morbidity and mortality rates. Extensive data were collected through a total of thirty interviews with ten informants over a period of six months. Field notes and transcripts were organized and sorted using the Ethnograph software package. Employing the constant comparative method of data collection and analysis, concepts and themes related to cancer and prevention were identified, systematically linked, and distilled into grounded theory. Trustworthiness was insured by triangulation of data collection methods, interview audits and debriefing. Analysis found informants had negative impressions of cancer, and little hope about cancer prevention, cancer treatment and cancer survivorship, despite accurate knowledge of prevention behavior guidelines. Hope was related to the individual's experience of five key elements: (a) the content and source of prevention guideline messages; (b) the individual's (emic) understanding of the disease; (c) experience of the disease; (d) religious/philosophical outlook; and (e) perceptions of the resources needed for prevention. The greater disparity between prevention messages and the other variables, the less hope individuals expressed for efficacy of cancer prevention, and the less likely they were to follow prevention guidelines. Significance of these findings for social work education, direct intervention, community action and public policy is that hope is as important to consider in the fight against cancer as is development of technology and access to care. An argument is made for social workers to be involved in primary prevention rather than tertiary treatment of coping with symptoms. Social workers need to be aware of opportunities to assess hope and empower persons to protect themselves, their families and communities. The role of social workers as advocates for "noncompliant" persons, interpreters/teachers to other health professionals, and lobbyists for cancer research is also discussed.
    • The effectiveness of social group work with head trauma rehabilitation patients

      Futeral, Susan Todd; Ephross, Paul H. (1993)
      This study investigated the relationship between the use of social group work methods and self-esteem of closed-head injured adolescents and young adults. Head injury is damage to the brain as a result of traumatic injury. There are approximately 3 million head injuries each year, resulting in 30,000 deaths. Head injuries are often caused by vehicular accidents, falling objects, gunshot wounds, sharp instruments, or projectiles. The lengthy psychosocial rehabilitation period of head injured persons is often complicated by the combined effects of the pre-injury history as well as the post-trauma physical and psychological changes. The study was conceptualized as action research. The design of this study was a pre-test/post-test design using multiple group comparisons. Trained social workers collected data in group interviews, and patients completed self-report questionnaires. The instruments used were the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, and an exit interview. The sample size was 25 outpatients and 25 community persons, which had sustained head injuries. The theoretical frameworks are symbolic interactionism and social group work theory. The study sought to develop findings which may contribute to clinical social work practice, theory, group work, and related fields. The goal of the study was to add to the present body of knowledge about effective treatment of head trauma patients. The experimental and comparison group members were matched on demographic variables of age, race, gender, residence, etc. One of the most significant differences of the demographic variables studied was the level of education, specifically that the participants in the comparison group completed more years of formal education than the participants in the experimental group. Both groups were matched similarly in their pre-test scores on the Piers-Harris and Rosenberg scales and both groups showed improvement in the desired direction over time. Using T tests to compare the pre-test to post-test scores, the following differences were statistically significant: the total Piers-Harris score, three subscales of the Piers-Harris (the Behavior, Intelligence and Anxiety subscales), and the Rosenberg scale. Overall the hypothesis that group work enhances self-esteem was supported by this study. In conclusion, this author advocates the use of group work for head trauma recoveries as an effective therapeutic intervention to increase group members' self-esteem. This study has implications for future research for inpatient and outpatient settings.
    • Health care utilization by children entering foster care: Factors associated with provider-initiated health referral and referral completion

      Risley-Curtiss, Christina; Combs-Orme, Terri (1993)
      Because of the events that precipitate entry into foster care, of social characteristics, and of the trauma associated with placement, foster children represent one of America's most vulnerable groups in terms of their health needs. Unfortunately, prior research has demonstrated that the probability of the health needs of these children being met is poor. Additionally, the Maryland Department of Human Resources has been sued for, among other things, failure to provide adequate health care to foster children. The resulting consent decree requires that children entering foster care receive a health assessment within five days of entry and a more comprehensive assessment after 30 days. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the ability of selected factors to explain (1) provider-initiated health referrals, and (2) the completion of those referrals for a cohort of children entering foster care in Baltimore. Multivariate analyses techniques were used with data from nonprobability samples of 1910 children entering care (#1) and 262 children in care for at least 30 days (#2). Consistent with previous studies, this study found that the sample children had multiple health problems. More than 70% of the children had 2 or more problems and 98.4% had at least one referral for additional services. Moreover, the children continue to have unmet health needs with only 45% of non-routine referrals completed during the study period. Age, race, sexual abuse, number of mental health problems, number of physical health problems and sexual activity explained 39% of the variance in number of referrals while age and completion time explained 9% of the variance in referral completion. Age was the best predictor of both number of referrals and referral completion. Age and number of mental health problems predicted type of referral (dental, medical or mental health). This study demonstrates that despite a lawsuit and new health project, foster children are still not getting their health needs met. It is critical that child welfare personnel recognize the need for comprehensive health care for foster children. More research in health care utilization by foster children is needed; this study demonstrates the applicability of the Aday/Andersen model of health utilization and multivariate analysis techniques to that study.
    • The social support needs of persons with HIV and AIDS: The case of clients with buddies at the Health Education Resource Organization (HERO)

      Woodroffe, Annette Angela; Greif, Geoffrey L. (1993)
      An orientational qualitative inquiry was conducted to explore and describe the problems and social support needs of people with HIV and AIDS who have buddies, and the extent to which those needs are met, especially by buddies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirty clients from an agency in Baltimore City that provides social support to people with HIV and AIDS. The sample consisted of gay clients, clients with histories of injecting drug use (IDU), and partners of IDUs. Findings revealed that all informants need emotional support; social support involving the sharing of pertinent information about the disease by professionals and the buddy; perceived available support from buddies, friends, and relatives; and social support that encourages them to share experiences as persons living with HIV and AIDS. Clients with histories of IDU needed strong role models and participated in many formal social support groups such as Methadone Maintenance support groups and HIV/AIDS support groups. Overall, findings suggest that social support provided by buddies is unique largely because informants want to be assured at all times that there is someone available for them who will not turn them away.
    • The relationship of child sexual abuse to the birthweight of infants born to low-income women

      Hyle, Linda Williams.; Greif, Geoffrey L. (1993)
      The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the relationship between a maternal history of child sexual abuse (CSA) and poor pregnancy outcome defined as low birthweight or prematurity among low income women. Pregnant women (n = 241) between 23 and 29 weeks gestation were interviewed during obstetric clinics in the UMMS using the Russell (1986) unwanted sexual experience survey and Lederman's (1984) Prenatal Self-Evaluation Questionnaire. The mean birthweight for the infants of all women was 3026.57 grams with 42 women (17.4%) delivering LBW infants (2500 grams or less) and 41 women (17%) delivering preterm ({dollar}>{dollar}37 weeks). Unwanted sexual experiences were reported by 97 women (40.2%) of which 68 women (28.2%) met Russell's criteria for child sexual abuse. Sixteen women (16.5%) who reported unwanted sexual experiences delivered LBW infants. Both Russell's broad and narrow definitions of child sexual abuse were correlated with poor prenatal psychosocial adaptation, drug use and different types of child maltreatment (lack of attachment, lack of continuity of care, physical abuse and neglect). The broad definition of child sexual abuse was a small but significant positive determinant in the birthweight model which controlled for race, maternal age, parity and medical factors. Characteristics of the CSA such as the intrusiveness of the abuse, the current presence of the offender in the woman's environment and multiple victimizations were significant negative determinants in the gestational age model. An unwanted sexual incident under the age of 14 and support from others were positive predictors in the birthweight model. The relationship between the broad or narrow definition of CSA and birthweight was proposed to be mediated through different health practices (smoking, alcohol and drug use, level of prenatal care, and maternal weight gain) and psychosocial adaptation. The data did not support a mediating relationship. The findings suggest that there is a relationship between CSA and the two dependent variables birthweight and gestational age which is complicated by the different characteristics of CSA producing both positive and negative predictors.
    • The effects of community service on the self-esteem and academic performance of at risk youth

      Bembry, James Xavier; Greif, Geoffrey L. (1993)
      Early adolescents, in particular, adolescents at-risk are placed on islands of isolation where they are separated from the rest of society. During this important stage of their lives they are offered little to do that is worthwhile or important. By denying young people an immediate role in our society, we prolong their dependence, undermine their self-esteem, and cripple their capacity to care. A sad consequence is that youth often turn their energies toward activities destructive to themselves and the society that ignores them. This study focuses on the effect of engaging at-risk youth in a community service program, where they engage with the elderly in nursing homes, on their self-esteem and academic performance. This study used an experimental design to examine the relationship between the independent variable, a community service program called Magic Me, and the dependent variables of self-esteem, grades, and school attendance. The researcher used a one-way multivariate analysis of covariance to analyze the data collected on 95 students in two middle schools in the city of Baltimore, and one in Baltimore county. This analysis revealed no significant results, between the experimental and control groups, on the dependent variables. However, a repeated measures analysis, which analyzed self-esteem scores over three points in time, revealed a significant difference on this variable in one of the schools. Further examination showed that the community service group in this school was led by the most experienced facilitator. The results of this study suggest that, unless there is a specific academic component(s) within the community service program that it may be unrealistic to expect improvements in academic performance. The study also suggests that there be a relationship between group leader style and experience, and how students perceive themselves after the community service experience.
    • Male client self-reports of domestic violence reduction following employee assistance program intervention for alcohol abuse

      Maiden, R. Paul; Mitchell, Gust (1994)
      This study examined self reports of domestic violence by male employee assistance program (EAP) clients who had received intervention for alcohol abuse. The literature suggests an association between domestic violence and alcohol abuse. The intent of the study was threefold: (1) to determine whether EAP clients who had received professional intervention for alcohol abuse were engaged in domestic violence before alcohol abuse intervention, (2) to determine the extent clients report a curtailment of domestic violence following alcohol abuse intervention, (3) to determine if selected factors during intervention contributed to reducing domestic violence. The sample consisted of 80 married, cohabitating, or divorced male clients from Chicago area employee assistance programs who had received diagnoses of alcoholism from EAP counselors and who were referred for either inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse. Data for the study were collected by telephone interviews with former clients. Twenty-four variables were used-to generate a profile of the participants' intervention experiences as well as their marital and employment stability profiles. The 18-item Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979) was used to measure incidence of domestic violence before and after intervention. Ninety-four percent of the respondents reported they had engaged in some form of verbal or physical assault of their partner including profanity, intimidation, hitting, beating up or threatening with a knife or gun prior to intervention for alcohol abuse. Over-all, the incidence of domestic violence was substantially reduced after intervention. Participants who reported engaging in severe physical violence before intervention reported the use of occasional, moderate domestic violence and verbally abusive behavior after intervention. Regular attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and frequent contact with an AA sponsor were found to be statistically significant in the reduction of domestic violence with variables appearing to serve as paths to the reduction of domestic violence. However, reports of post-intervention domestic violence show a continued pattern of violence though with less frequency and lowered severity. The findings support the need to intervene in alcohol abuse as a means of reducing domestic violence. It is evident, however, that more extensive understanding and specialized interventions are needed to fully understand and address the full range of underlying causes of domestic violence.
    • Intervention preferences of social workers with Jewish-Christian intermarried families

      Saltman, Joan Ettinger; Goldmeier, John (1994)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible factors associated with social workers' opinions and practice behaviors about an aspect of the relationship between social work practice and religion. Specifically, this study explored whether, and if so how, professional MSW-level social workers employed at Jewish Family service agencies address the phenomenon of Jewish-Christian intermarriage when formulating an intervention plan. A variety of survey and analogue research questions were asked. Additional demographic information was obtained about these social workers. Data were obtained through a questionnaire mailed to 420 MSW-level social workers employed half-time or more at the 137 Jewish Family Service agencies in the United States and Canada during the spring of 1990. Findings were based on a sample of 175 respondents from 45% of the agencies. Statistical procedures used included frequencies, means, Pearson product-moment correlations, t-tests, and paired t-tests. Conclusions indicated that in the survey questions, approximately 75% of these social workers reported it was important to include the intermarriage issue in an intervention plan. In the analogue questions, over 90% of the respondents reported they would question the clients about the intermarriage issue. Subsequently, 75% would raise the issue themselves rather than wait for the clients to bring up the concern. It was also found that these social workers professed a theoretical orientation to practice. However, they tended not to adhere strictly to their orientation when they selected theoretically-based interventions in the analogues. Limitations of this study, recommendations for future research, implications for social work practice and education are presented. This study is of interest not only to Jewish family service agencies but to social work practitioners and educators in general. With an increasing recognition of the importance of pluralism in our society and an awareness of the importance of ethnicity and religion, it is hoped that the findings of this study will contribute to the knowledge base of social work, to the education of social work students, and to the ongoing education of social work practitioners.
    • Depressive mood in parents of children in care: Effects on visitation

      Osgood, Dorothy; DiBlasio, Frederick A. (1994)
      Many parents of children in substitute care live in stressful environmental conditions and have experienced stressful life events. Since both stressful environmental conditions and life events have been associated with depression, it is possible that many of these parents are depressed and their depression may affect the frequency of their visitation with their children in care. Also, research supports that parental visitation is the strongest predictor of family reunification. Therefore, this study looks specifically at the relationship between depression, a possible role strain reaction, and two measures of potential reunification: frequency of contact and level of compliance with the visitation plan. Parental depression was measured within the first three months of the child's placement in substitute care by the Beck Depression Inventory and Generalized Contentment Scale. Also measured at the same time was the parent-child relationship (Index of Parental Attitudes) as viewed by the parents. After the child had been in care for six months, case records were reviewed to collect relevant demographic data and the number of contacts that parents had with their children. Multivariate analysis of the data did not support a significant relationship between depression and frequency of contact nor between depression and the level of compliance. A correlation between parent-child relationship and the frequency of contact was not supported but a correlation between parent-child relationship and level of compliance was supported when those parents who totally complied with the visitation plan were compared to those parents who did not totally comply with the visitation plan. Other variables that correlated significantly with frequency of contact were: marital status and whether the parents had other children at home. The identification of race correlated significantly with level of compliance with the visitation plan.
    • Leadership that leads to innovation in nonprofit human service organizations

      Pierson, Joanna Louise; Wenocur, Stanley, 1938- (1994)
      Administrators of nonprofit, human service organizations often discuss the need for new services. Knowledge about how to create this change is often a problem. Most of the literature on innovation is written about for-profit businesses. This research examines how nonprofits differ in the way they create innovation, the impact of leaders, and the traits of leaders that help create innovative services. This study utilizes a qualitative methodology, grounded theory, to develop themes that explain how this innovation occurs. The study was of seven human service agencies in Maryland that had innovative services such as: an adolescent fathers program, recycling of surplus building materials for use by low income people, and an urban literacy services model. Interviews and participant observations were used to conduct the research. The organizations studied fit into two categories, those with breakthrough innovations that transformed the agency and those with significant innovations that were ground breaking in nature but did not transform the entire organization's services. The study did find a difference between innovation here and in the business sector. For the majority of agencies in the study, the reason for innovation was to fulfill a vision of creating a better world for the people they served. A smaller group of the organizations acted based on the entrepreneurial "vision" of positioning the agency more effectively financially. Leadership was found to be an important factor in creating innovative services. The executive directors of the innovative organizations had certain traits: macro perspective, makes connections between ideas, looks ahead to the future, compassion for people, works very hard, action oriented, risk taker, persistence, creative or appreciates creativity, flexibility, respects staff and can give up power, sense of humor, and has strong networks outside of the organization. In addition, the traits of the executive director that increased the level of innovativeness were: level of energy and enthusiasm, ability to inspire others, and ability to translate the big picture into a vision and to then translate this into structures to ensure that changes happened. Management styles and gender of the directors were not related to creating innovative services by the organizations.
    • The relationship between alcohol and drug use and achievement of self-sufficiency from public assistance by female AFDC recipients in Project Independence

      Sisco, Carol Bolton; Orme, John G. (1994)
      The study used a prospective cohort design to examine the relationship between alcohol and drug use and achievement of self-sufficiency from public assistance in a nonprobability convenience sample of 203 female AFDC recipients who enrolled in Maryland's welfare-to-work program--Project Independence--between January and May, 1990. A Health Habit Questionnaire, including two standardized measures of substance abuse, was administered at program entry; self-sufficiency outcomes were measured 18 months post-entry. Five directional hypotheses were tested. The study found that, when controlling for relevant factors, alcohol and drug use were not independently related to achievement of self-sufficiency from public assistance. However, due to methodological characteristics of the study, alcohol and drug use (i.e., substance abuse) were collectively related to AFDC and Food Stamp receipt in a direction opposite than predicted. Cohort alcoholism and drug abuse were comparable to, or greater than, substance abuse in other female public assistance populations and greater than substance abuse in the U.S. and Maryland female populations. Education was positively related to cohort earnings and inversely related to cohort household Medicaid costs. Though future research needs to use multiple indicators and gender-sensitive measures of substance abuse to examine tenure on public assistance based on alcohol or drug use, the study's findings underscore the deficiencies of current Federal and state policies and programs to address substance abuse problems and to facilitate long-term economic self-sufficiency among female AFDC recipients.
    • Chronically ill children and marital adjustment in military families

      Mahlmann, John James; Varghese, Raju (1994)
      One hundred and forty seven married couples with a chronically ill/handicapped child from an Army base were matched with 147 married couples without a chronically ill/handicapped child from the same base to make up the sample. Comparisons were made on a variety of demographic and socio/emotional variables. It was found that respondents with a chronically ill/handicapped child present in the home had less education, family income, and rank status than control group respondents. In spite of these disadvantages, when the two groups were compared on a measure of marital adjustment, no significant differences were observed. Within group analyses of couples with a chronically ill/handicapped child in the home found that mothers, compared to fathers, were most adversely affected both emotionally and socially. Fathers with low levels of marital adjustment reported excessive time demands caring for the identified child and a lack of support caring for the child. The way in which care required by a chronically ill/handicapped child was measured determined whether or not it was related to the level of marital adjustment. This may help to explain the contradictory findings in the literature. When a model of stress appraisal and coping was tested using LISREL8 and social support, care, and psychological coping and marital adjustment were placed in the equation in every possible combination, it was found that for fathers, the model fit the data only when care and marital adjustment were in the model. For mothers, the model fit the data for care and marital adjustment and for social support, psychological coping, and marital adjustment. The model did not fit the data when all three independent variables were entered together. Related other theoretical approaches may prove better able to explain the factors that influence marital adjustment for fathers of chronically ill/handicapped children.
    • Physical punishment as purposive behavior

      Schwermer, Jurgen Horst; Palley, Howard A. (1994)
      This dissertation examines the relationship between physical punishment and indices of family functioning as derived from the tenets of social exchange theory. There appear to be significant differences in the amount and severity of physical punishment parents mete out to their children. In a sample of 91 residents of a substance abuse treatment center surveyed via a questionnaire, with an average age of 32, 63 percent reported rare or no punishment, 22 percent reported being punished more than once a week or on a daily basis, with 15 percent indicating they were punished approximately once a week. Twenty-seven percent reported never being hit, 14 percent reported only being spanked, 42 percent reported being hit with an object and 17 percent reported being hit in the face and/or beaten by their parents/caretakers while they were between the ages of 6 and 18. Fifty-two percent of the sample indicated that alcohol or drug abuse had been a problem in their family of origin. However, the alcohol or other drug use and abuse by the parents, while the respondents were children, did not prove to have any significant relationship to the patterns of punishment. The parent's geographical and emotional closeness to grandparents and other relatives, their involvement in the community and the family economic status also had little significant predictive power. The manner in which parents valued their children, structured the family to facilitate democratic communication, shared power with their children and spent time with them involved in outside activities, all believed to be indicators of social exchange theory, did show significant relationships to the amount of total punishment as well as the severity of punishments respondents reported having experienced. Utilizing stepwise regression, social exchange theory variables accounted for over 34 percent of the variation in the severity of physical punishment.