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Abstracts from Volume 29, Number 3
(September, 2002)

From Henry Street to Contracted Services: Financing the Settlement House
Robert Fisher
This article tracks historically the direct connection and shifting relationship between the larger political economy, the extent and arrangement of financing, and agency programming in the settlement house from 1886 to the present, with particular attention to agency experience in New York City. During this time the settlements changed from being informal organizations oriented to service provision and community building, in which funding was a highly private matter, to formalized, multiservice agencies dependent on contracted public funds for categorical programs. This transformation resulted not as a linear progression of organizational development but rather as an historical process tied to shifting patterns of political economy and voluntary sector financing.

"I Raised My Kids on the Bus": Transit Shift Workers' Coping Strategies for Parenting
Blanche Grosswald Rutgers
The study investigated coping strategies for parenting of transit shift workers, an urban, blue-collar, primarily ethnic minority population. It involved a qualitative, grounded theory approach, using individual interviews with 30 San Francisco bus drivers. The principal aspect of the job impacting transit workers' relationships with their children was the lack of time they had together. Drivers had to be creative to find ways to care for their children. They could not rely exclusively on formal child care because hours at childcare centers did not match their job schedules. Coping strategies for care included taking children on the bus, working shifts complementary to those of spouses, using siblings as surrogate parents, substituting material gifts for time, and separating work from family. Future research cannot group shift work as one composite. Shiftworking doctors and nurses experience different working conditions from those of bus drivers that may lead to variations in parental caring. Policy suggestions include child care services and shorter shifts.

Heterosexual Males: A Group Forgotten by the Profession of Social Work
Jordan I. Kosberg
Social work literature has mainly focused upon females and gay males. A search was undertaken of general references to heterosexual males in published social-work authored articles and appearing in book reviews and publishers' ads in two prominent social work journals during the last decade. The conclusion reached was that heterosexual males are seldom discussed and when they are discussed they are portrayed in a very biased manner. It is believed that social workers do not receive necessary preparation for understanding and working with heterosexual males, especially from minority and immigrant groups, who are facing emotional, physical, interpersonal, and family problems. A stereotypic view of heterosexual males is both unfair and untrue, and precludes necessary attention in the classroom and in practice to their normative needs and special problems.

Domestic Violence Law Reforms: Reactions from the Trenches
Carol Bohmer

In recent years, feminists have worked hard to pressure society and the criminal justice system into taking domestic violence seriously. These efforts have resulted in more government funding and increased services to victims. In addition, there have also been legal and policy reforms which have affected the way cases are handled in the criminal justice system. This article reports on research on the reactions to those reforms by those most directly affected by them, the victims themselves and those who provide services to them.

Differential Test Performance in the American Educational System: The Impact of Race and Gender
Stephen J. Finch
Contrary to Herrnstein and Murray (1994) who claim that racial groups have different cognitive endowments and that these best explain differential test score achievements, our regression analyses document that there is less improvement in test scores per year of education for African-Americans and women. That is, the observed group test score differences do not appear to be due to racial cognitive differences but rather to other factors associated with group-linked experiences in the educational system. We found that 666 of the subjects in the Herrnstein-Murray database had actual IQ scores derived from school records. Using these as independent controls for IQ, we document that each of the test components that were the basis of the Herrnstein-Murray "IQ" scores was significantly associated with education level (p< .001). Consequently, their IQ score appears to be an education-related measure rather than an IQ test, and thus challenges the validity of their analysis.

Designing Policies that Address the Relationship Between Woman Abuse and Economic Resources
Kameri Christy-McMullin
Given the disproportionate and increasing number of impoverished women, and poor women's increased vulnerability to woman abuse, it is crucial we examine economic policies in regards to their equity and adequacy for abused women. Current policies and programs designed to address the economic resources/needs of abused women are analyzed. Limitations in current policies are addressed, and a recommendation is made for the formation and implementation of a policy that would serve to empower women economically. Both the prospect and achievement of economic independence for women may not only reduce woman abuse, but will also increase women's options for economic security.

Beyond Welfare or Work: Teen Mothers, Household Subsistence Strategies, and Child Development Outcomes
Gunnar Almgren
There is probably no aspect of the work versus welfare debate that is more contested than the effects of welfare use on child development outcomes. Liberals tend to emphasize the detrimental effects of poverty and welfare stigma on children, while conservatives cite the negative socialization that occurs regarding the value of work within welfare dependent families. However, large scale longitudinal studies that have been used to address this question only indirectly measure critical influences on child development such as maternal mental health and do not consider the effect that a range of economic strategies that low-income mothers might undertake may have on their children. In this analysis, we employ data from a longitudinal study of 173 teen-mothers to assess the relative effects of maternal characteristics and economic strategies on the developmental outcomes of their children at time of school entry. Two principal findings emerge. First, over the period from their first teen birth to the reference child's entry into school, the sample subjects used a variety of household economic strategies aside from the simple welfare versus work dichotomy that is commonly used to depict the choices of teen-mothers. Second, while maternal depression appears linked to the prevalence of problem behaviors in early childhood, the particular economic strategies used by the mothers in the sample do not explain any variation in either the prevalence of problem behaviors or in children's learning preparation for school entry. These findings support the perspective that the influence of teen mothers' parenting qualities on child development cannot be assessed through an analysis of their labor force participation, use of welfare, or other strategies of household subsistence.

Recruitment and Foster Family Service
Mary Ellen Cox

Using data from the National Survey of Current and Former Foster Parents this study examined how foster parents first found out about the need for foster parents (mass media, other foster parents, religious organization, or civic organization) affected foster family service (number of children fostered, years of fostering service, fostering of children with special needs, and families' intent to continue fostering). Respondents who became aware of the need for foster parents through religious organizations fostered for more years; respondents who became aware through mass media fostered for fewer years. How foster families first found out about the need for foster parents did not differentially affect other foster family service measures. Implications for foster parent recruitment and future research are discussed.

The Increase in Incarcerations Among Women and its Impact on the Grandmother Caregiver: Some Racial Considerations
Dorothy S. Ruiz
This article analyzes census data on the increase in incarcerations among women, with specific emphasis on some racial differences. The steady rise in female incarcerations and its impact on grandmothers who are caregivers of their children is the focus of this analysis. The article includes sociodemographic and health characteristics of imprisoned mothers, a review of relevant research, the impact of incarcerations on family caregivers, and implications for research. The rate of female incarceration has increased by 11%per year since 1985. A disproportionally higher number are women of color. Approximately fifty-three percent of the children whose mothers are imprisoned are cared for by grandmothers. The rapid increase in the female incarceration rate suggests the need for additional research on the social, economic, and health impact of this phenomenon on family caregivers, especially grandmothers.

Book Reviews
Family Group Conferencing: New Directions in Community-Centered Child and Family Practice. Gail Buford and Joe Hudson (Eds.)
Review by Richard P. Barth

Counseling Female Offenders and Victims: A Strengths-Restorative Approach.
Katherine VanWormer.
Review by Elizabeth C. Pomeroy

In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes. Barbara Perry.
Review by Wilma Peebles-Wilkins

The Marketization of Social Security. John Dixon and Mark Hyde (Eds.).
Review by Kwong-leung Tang

Making it in the "FreeWorld":Women in Transition from Prison. Patricia O'Brien.
Review by Katherine van Wormer

Book Notes
Exchange, Action, and Social Structure: Elements of Economic Sociology. Za.rovski, Milan.

Family Diversity: Continuity and Change in the Contemporary Family. Pauline Irit Erera.

Giving Meaning to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Isfahan Merali and Valerie Oosterveld (Eds.).

Productive Aging: Concepts and Challenges. Nancy Morrow-Howell, James Hinterlong and Michael Sherraden (Eds.).

The Promise of the Third Way: Globalization and Social Justice. Otto Newman and Richard de Zoysa.

 

 

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