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Abstracts from Volume 40, Number 3
(September, 2013)

 

HOUSING ASSISTANCE AND DISCONNECTION FROM WELFARE AND WORK: ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF PUBLIC HOUSING AND TENANT-BASED RENTAL SUBSIDIES
Andrea Hetling and Hilary Botein

The well-being of families disconnected from welfare and work
are of growing concern to policymakers. This article examines the
relationship between economic disconnection and housing assistance,
a critical source of support that subsidizes what is the largest
fixed expense for most households. Results from multilevel logistic
models show that the odds of being disconnected are higher for public
housing residents and lower for single mothers receiving tenantbased
rental assistance in comparison to those in private housing.
Findings indicate that housing policies should be considered alongside
welfare policy changes aimed at economically disconnected
families, and that public housing is a critical site for interventions.


SUICIDE WITHIN UNITED STATES JAILS: A QUALITATIVE INTERPRETIVE META-SYNTHESIS
Laura Frank and Regina T. P. Aguirre

Suicide was the leading cause of unnatural deaths in local jails,
accounting for 29% of all jail deaths between 2000 and 2007.
Though much literature exists on suicide in jails, very little is
qualitative. Additionally, little attention has been focused on how
the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide applies to the jail environment.
To gain a better understanding of suicide in jails, an interpretive
meta-synthesis of three qualitative articles was conducted.
The combined sample included thirty-four individuals from three
jails. These three articles were analyzed to identify common themes
that led inmates to suicide. Three broad categories were identified
through constant comparison of the data. These categories are:
mental health factors, environmental conditions, and relationship
issues. These three broad categories are discussed in relation to the
Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, demonstrating its application in
the jail setting. This information is essential for correctional facilities
and staff for use in their day-to-day interactions with inmates.
Future research is needed to identify and examine current
suicide prevention programs in the United States penal system.


WELFARE REFORM IN THE STATES: DOES THE PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE LEGISLATORS IN STATE LEGISLATURES AFFECT WELFARE REFORM POLICIES?
Lee W. Payne

My research tests the proposal that female legislators have issuespecific
political agendas and that female representation may
affect these issues. Welfare is an issue that affects women and
children to a larger degree than it does men. To test this hypothesis
I use three measures of welfare sanctions and one measure
of overall welfare environment as dependent variables. Results
indicate that the level of female legislators does not have the expected
impact on two of the three sanction policies, but it does
have the expected impact on the overall welfare environment.


SOCIAL SECURITY: STRENGTHEN NOT DISMANTLE

Michael M. O. Seipel

Social Security has benefited more than 55 million people. It has
lifted about 14 million seniors and 6 million more people out of
poverty without adding a penny to the federal budget. Social Security
is increasingly becoming an important source of income
for many people. Despite the projected shortfall, the program will
continue to meet its obligations for the next two decades, and
with minor adjustments, it can be on solid footing for the next
75 years. Cutting the benefits or privatizing may not be the best
approach. This paper discusses the structure and function of
Social Security and what can be done to strengthen the program.

 

TRADING THE PICKET FENCE: PERCEPTIONS OF CHILDBIRTH, MARRIAGE, AND CAREER
Wanda Parham-Payne, Bette J. Dickerson, and Tekisha Dwan Everette

While there was a slightly lower rate of out-of-wedlock births
in 2009, 41 percent of all births were to unmarried women. Although
there has been an increase across the board among older
age groups, Black women continue to have children out of wedlock
at a disproportionately higher rate than White and Asian
women. This is of particular interest, considering African-American
women are increasingly attaining higher levels of education
in comparison to previous generations of African-American
women. As such, the perceptions of childbirth, child-rearing,
and marriage among a sample of African-American women
matriculating within a postsecondary setting are explored.

 

BEYOND PROFESSIONAL EMERGENCIES: PATTERNS OF MISTAKES IN SOCIAL WORK AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR REMEDIATION
Keith Roberts Johnson

This paper analyzes the emerging field of government mandated
child protection, the work’s design, and the public crisis caused by
public airing of its mistakes. The cycle of reacting to public revulsion
at errors, followed by a return to “business as usual” persists
despite official, government inquiries and the social work profession
identified with the protection of children. The risk of working in a
highly emotional area is discussed through the sociology of “mistakes
at work,” or professional emergencies. This work balances
risks with advantages of evoking emotions. The risk comes from the
negative emotions associated with official failures seen by the public
as tragic mistakes or worse. In the past four decades social work has
become vulnerable to public outcries when a child is killed when
supposedly protected. The management of that risk is relatively new
to the profession and it has not responded effectively. The sources
of child fatalities within the child welfare system are at least partly
due to the design of the system, its daily work routines and the central
role of the profession in the emerging field of child protection.
These routines are described with an analysis of how they contribute
to failures. Recommendations for system change are suggested.


WOMEN'S WORK ATTITUDES, ASPIRATIONS, AND WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION BEFORE AND AFTER RELOCATION FROM PUBLIC HOUSING

Edith J. Barrett

For the past decade or so, public housing policies have focused on
moving residents from concentrated housing developments into
newly designed mixed-income developments or, through housing
choice vouchers, into neighborhoods with lower concentrations of
poor. These newer programs are driven by research that suggests
public housing residents will have greater opportunity for financial
self-sufficiency and, although not openly discussed, will better
appreciate the importance of work when they live among higher
income working residents. Using panel data collected from public
housing residents relocated following the closure of a public housing
development, this study explores the relationship between individual
characteristics, neighborhood characteristics, and work
attitudes, aspirations, and actions. The findings reveal that public
housing residents are no different from the non-poor in their attitudes
about work, but that when residents move into high income
neighborhoods, their dreams of satisfying careers become more solid.


BETWEEN STONEWALL AND AIDS: INITIAL EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH GAY AND LESBIAN SOCIAL SERVICES

Michael G. Lee

Little has been written about gay and lesbian communities’ efforts
to address health and human service concerns prior to the
HIV/AIDS crisis. This article analyzes content from The Advocate
along with organizational documents from the early 1970s
to explore the health issues addressed by these fledgling providers.
Major concerns identified include social adjustment to a gay
or lesbian identity, chemical health, sexual health, and family
supports. These findings depict a service context strained by
funding instability, workplace turmoil, neighborhood hostility,
and high levels of consumer needs that would later come
to characterize the complex nature of AIDS service work.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time.
Ira Katznelson.
Reviewed by Marguerite Rosenthal.


Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream.

Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt.
Reviewed by Anders Hayden.


Social Welfare in East Asia and the Pacific.
Sharlene B. C. L. Furuto (Ed.).
Reviewed by James Midgley.


Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American
Middle Class.
Jody A. Vallejo.
Reviewed by Celestino Fernandez.


Informal Labor, Formal Politics, and Dignified Discontent
in India.
Rina Agarwala.
Reviewed by Jennifer R. Zelnick.


Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City.
Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson.
Reviewed by Helen Glikman.

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Super-Rich and
the Fall of Everyone Else.
Chrystia Freeland.
Reviewed by Edward U. Murphy.

 

 

College of Health and Human Services
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5243 USA
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