The Effects of Prolonged Job Insecurity on the
Psychological Well-Being of Workers
Cynthia Rocha, Jennifer Hause Crowell, and Andrea K. McCarter
Job insecurity has been increasing since the 1980s. While researchers
have found job insecurity to be negatively associated
with multiple indicators of well-being for w workers and their
families in cross sectional studies, less is known about the long
term effects of prolonged job insecurity. Specifically, there is a
need to collect measures of both insecurity and its consequences
at multiple time periods. The current study followed workers for
3½ years to assess the effects of chronic job insecurity on psychological
distress. Results indicate that while workers reported
increased feelings of security over time, there were longer term
negative effects on workers’ depression levels. The importance
of government regulations to decrease insecurity is discussed.
A Paradigm for the Profession
Rich Furman, Carol L. Langer, and Debra K. Anderson
This article explores a new paradigm or model for the professional
social worker: The poet/practitioner. The training and
practice of the poet are congruent with many aspects of social
work practice. An examination of the practice of the poet, and the
congruence of these practices to social work, reveals a paradigm
with the capacity to focus social workers on the essential values
of our profession. This paradigm, which highlights the humanistic,
creative, and socially conscience role of the social work practitioner,
may be particularly important today given the medicalization
of social problems and the conservitization of society.
“Put Up” on Platforms:
A History of Twentieth Century
Adoption Policy in the United States
Adoption is closely intertwined with many issues that are central to
public policy in this country—welfare and poverty, race and class,
and gender. An analysis of the history of adoption shows how it has
been shaped by the nation’s mores and demographics. In order to
better understand this phenomenon, and its significance to larger
societal issues, this analysis reviews its history, focusing on four key
periods in which this country’s adoption policy was shaped: the late
Nineteenth Century’s ‘orphan trains’; the family preservation and
Mothers’ Pensions of the Progressive Era; World War II through
the 1950s, with secrecy and the beginnings of international adoption;
and the 1970s-1990s, when reproductive controls were more
obtainable, and relinquishing children became more uncommon.
Altruism or Self-interest?
Social Spending and the Life Course
Debra Street and Jeralynn Sittig Cossman
The primacy of self-interested individuals is often regarded as the
appropriate basis for US social spending decisions. One thread of
this argument has advanced age-based self-interest and politically
powerful elderly to explain why Social Security and Medicare have
thrived in a policy environment that has seen retrenchment in
other programs. We argue that crude self-interest and individual
programs considered in isolation are insufficient to understand
social spending preferences. We use General Social Survey data to
contrast conventional and critical explanations for understanding
the role of age in preferences for social spending. Factor analyses
demonstrate that social spending preferences cluster into conceptually
distinctive domains. This supports our argument that social
spending orientations are more complex than conventional analyses
of age-based preferences for single-issue discrete programs like
education, welfare or Social Security suggest. Overemphasis on age
group differences misconstrues the role of age in spending orientations
and whether preferences are more plausibly labeled as selfinterested
or altruistic. Considering how age, period and cohorts
differences impact social spending domains improves understanding
of how the life course influences social spending preferences.
Economic Well-Being and
Intimate Partner Violence:
New Findings about
the Informal Economy
The purpose of this research was to explore the relationship between
intimate partner violence (IPV) and women’s participation in the informal
economy (both legal and illegal) and their impact on economic
well-being. This research was part of a National Institute of Justice
(NIJ) study that was concerned with women’s survival of childhood
and adult abuse. For the 285 women that were in this sample, there
were positive, medium correlations between IPV and various types
of informal economic activity. Illegal informal economic activity,
institutionalized informal economic activity, incarceration and
physical abuse negatively impacted women’s economic well-being.
Job Satisfaction Among
Using means tests, ANOVA, contingency methods and polytomous
logistic regression techniques, I analyze job satisfaction
survey data provided by former welfare recipients in Illinois.
Mean job satisfaction in the sample is high. Wages, work
hours, professional status, having employer sponsored health
care and being in good health have significant positive effects
on job satisfaction. Contrary to popular assumptions regarding
welfare dependency, time on welfare positively affects post-TANF job satisfaction. I discuss implications of these findings in
the context of policy debates regarding TANF reauthorization.
Searching for Social Capital in U.S.
Microenterprise Development Programs
Nancy C. Jurik, Gray Cavender, and Julie Cowgill
This paper focuses on the claims and efforts of U.S. microenterprise
development programs (MDPs) to build social capital among poor
and low income entrepreneurs. MDPs offer business training and
lending services to individuals operating very small businesses
(with five or fewer employees and less than $20,000 in start-up capital).
Advocates suggest that MDPs help promote economic development
by building social capital defined as networks among small
entrepreneurs and between entrepreneurs and their larger community.
We begin our paper with a short review of the varied definitions
and claims about the role of social capital in promoting civic
and economic empowerment. Then, drawing on interviews with
practitioners from 50 programs, we examine the nature and extent
of social capital building in U.S. MDPs. We consider the degree to
which our sample MDPs directly promoted networks among clients,
and between clients and individuals/organizations outside the program.
More than half of the programs tried to network clients with
each other, but only a few programs focused on building networks
between clients and the larger community. From a critical perspective,
we discuss more expanded notions of social capital building
in poor communities and the barriers to their implementation.
One Nation Uninsured: Why the U.S. Has No National
Reviewed by Stephen Pimpare.
When Public Housing Was Paradise: Building Community in
J. S. Fuerst.
Reviewed by John Q. Hodges.
Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success.
Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis and Melissa Osborne
Reviewed by Larry Nackerud.
The Poorhouse: America’s Forgotten Institution.
Reviewed by Paul H. Stuart.
Mental Disorders in the Social Environment.
Stuart A. Kirk (Ed.).
Reviewed by Kia J. Bentley.
Discovering Successful Pathways in Children’s Development:
Mixed Methods in the Study of Childhood and Family Life.
Thomas S. Weisner (Ed.).
Reviewed by Victor Groza.
The Practice of Research in Social Work.
Rafael J. Engel and Russell K. Schutt.
Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land
Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle.
Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance Through 20th Century
Victoria de Grazia.
White Backlash and the Politics of Multiculturalism.
War on the Family: Mothers in Prison and the Families They
Child Abuse and Neglect: Attachment, Development and