Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

Filter Dissertations By:

 
 
  • "There" is Home: A Case Study of the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York City

    Author:
    Melba Butler
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Gerald Mallon
    Abstract:

    The General Report to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection in 1933 stated that as a rule "public and private agencies for dependent children have not concerned themselves with the special problems of the Negro, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Indian...Differences in culture, tradition, language and other factors of race and nationality call for a special body of knowledge and specialized methods of meeting those needs that are common to all. Failure to understand this has resulted in the neglect of certain groups, and lack of the needed specialized care" (Folks & Murphy, 1933, 17). More than 75 years later, findings indicate that youth exciting foster care are still fairing poorly despite varied policy and practice initiatives; Black youth, who are disproportionately represented out of home placement, have poorer outcomes than other populations (Hilliard, 2011; Hook & Courtney, 2011; Naccarato, Megan & Courtney, 2010; Osgood, Foster & Courtney, 2010; Center for Urban Futures, 2011). This inquiry seeks to broaden the discourse about best practices for Black children through case study of the Riverdale Colored Orphan Asylum in NYC, (COA), an historical institution founded specifically to serve Black children. Through oral and written narrative it unearths the experiences of COA just prior to the dissolution of its institutional care program. Findings suggest further study of the role of congregate care that might lead to improved outcomes for targeted populations of youth. The study also identifies how positive outcomes for children in care were impacted by reciprocity between COA and its targeted Black community.

  • Phantoms of Home Care and Victims of Designed Neglect: A Qualitative Study of Home Care Nurse and Social Worker Perceptions, Decisions, and Coping with Persons with Alzheimer's disease

    Author:
    William Cabin
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Irwin Epstein
    Abstract:

    Abstract PHANTOMS OF HOME CARE AND VICTIMS OF DESIGNED NEGLECT: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF HOME CARE NURSE AND SOCIAL WORKER PERCEPTIONS, DECISIONS, AND COPING WITH PERSONS WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE by William D. Cabin Adviser: Professor Irwin Epstein Alzheimer's disease is a major cause of illness and death in the United States, imposing significant social, economic, and psychological burdens on clients and their caregivers. Over 5 million, primarily older, Americans were estimated to have Alzheimer's disease in 2007, with most living at home, cared for by family members or friends (Alzheimer's Association, 2007a, 2007b). A literature review indicates that there are psychosocial, rather than medical, interventions which currently benefit the Alzheimer's population. Despite these findings, the Medicare home health benefit provides virtually no psychosocial care to this population. The literature review also indicates that there has been no research on how home care social workers and nurses perceive, cope with, and make decisions about this population and the consequent impact on their care needs. The dissertation addresses this research gap, interviewing thirty-three home care nurses and thirty-nine home care social workers. The overall finding is that the Medicare home health policy, as mediated by home health agencies, nurses, and social workers, significantly influences the care of persons with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Both home care nurses and social workers assert the lack of coverage results in a system with many unmet client and caregiver needs, high costs, and limited quality. As a result, nurses characterized persons with Alzheimer's disease as "phantoms" while social workers characterized them as "victims of designed neglect". Overall social workers and nurses conformed to policy, with social workers more conformist than nurses. Both social workers and nurses agreed that the more conformist their practice, the more limited the care and greater the unmet client need. Nurses and social workers were virtually equal as innovators, seeking creative, legitimate means to provide greater care, and rebels, invoking illegitimate means to achieve their goals. These coping strategies validated, in part, pre-existing theory of Merton (1938, 1957). Home care nurses expressed greater job satisfaction, ability to effectively deliver care, and ability to use professional training than social workers. The dissertation recommends research, policy, practice, and advocacy actions to create more cost-effective Medicare home health coverage of the needs of persons with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.

  • Phantoms of Home Care and Victims of Designed Neglect: A Qualitative Study of Home Care Nurse and Social Worker Perceptions, Decisions, and Coping with Persons with Alzheimer's disease

    Author:
    William Cabin
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Irwin Epstein
    Abstract:

    Abstract PHANTOMS OF HOME CARE AND VICTIMS OF DESIGNED NEGLECT: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF HOME CARE NURSE AND SOCIAL WORKER PERCEPTIONS, DECISIONS, AND COPING WITH PERSONS WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE by William D. Cabin Adviser: Professor Irwin Epstein Alzheimer's disease is a major cause of illness and death in the United States, imposing significant social, economic, and psychological burdens on clients and their caregivers. Over 5 million, primarily older, Americans were estimated to have Alzheimer's disease in 2007, with most living at home, cared for by family members or friends (Alzheimer's Association, 2007a, 2007b). A literature review indicates that there are psychosocial, rather than medical, interventions which currently benefit the Alzheimer's population. Despite these findings, the Medicare home health benefit provides virtually no psychosocial care to this population. The literature review also indicates that there has been no research on how home care social workers and nurses perceive, cope with, and make decisions about this population and the consequent impact on their care needs. The dissertation addresses this research gap, interviewing thirty-three home care nurses and thirty-nine home care social workers. The overall finding is that the Medicare home health policy, as mediated by home health agencies, nurses, and social workers, significantly influences the care of persons with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Both home care nurses and social workers assert the lack of coverage results in a system with many unmet client and caregiver needs, high costs, and limited quality. As a result, nurses characterized persons with Alzheimer's disease as "phantoms" while social workers characterized them as "victims of designed neglect". Overall social workers and nurses conformed to policy, with social workers more conformist than nurses. Both social workers and nurses agreed that the more conformist their practice, the more limited the care and greater the unmet client need. Nurses and social workers were virtually equal as innovators, seeking creative, legitimate means to provide greater care, and rebels, invoking illegitimate means to achieve their goals. These coping strategies validated, in part, pre-existing theory of Merton (1938, 1957). Home care nurses expressed greater job satisfaction, ability to effectively deliver care, and ability to use professional training than social workers. The dissertation recommends research, policy, practice, and advocacy actions to create more cost-effective Medicare home health coverage of the needs of persons with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.

  • NATIONAL CHILD MALTREATMENT RESPONSE AND FOSTER CARE ENTRIES: 2005-2010

    Author:
    Zeinab Chahine
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Irwin Epstein
    Abstract:

    This study involves secondary analysis of the national administrative data contained in two major federal child maltreatment and foster care data systems, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System for 2005 to 2010. The study examines the data related to screening in and determination of maltreatment reports (child maltreatment response), as well as the provision of services to children referred for maltreatment. The purpose is to determine how the child welfare services/child protective services systems responses to child maltreatment contributed to the 17% decline in foster care entries from 2005 to 2010. The trends show shifts in CWS/CPS systems' responses to child maltreatment toward increased family engagement. The findings indicate that despite the increase in numbers of children screened in for maltreatment, substantiation for all types of maltreatment (especially neglect, and physical and sexual abuse), declined. At the same time, unsubstantiated findings and assignment to differential or alternative response increased. Consistent with the decline in substantiation, post investigation services or post response services (including foster care) also declined. The study indicates a substantial decrease in disproportionality of Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander children in the child welfare system, although these groups continued to be overrepresented. Correlatively, Hispanic/Latino children increased as a proportion of the total population involved in child welfare, although they continued to be slightly underrepresented. In addition, there was a large increase in Hispanic/Latino children with unsubstantiated findings who received "other" post investigation services. The increase in the proportion of Hispanic/Latino children and the decrease for other racial ethnic groups, especially Black or African American and White children, contributed to most of the observed reduction in the foster care entries. There is some evidence of CWS/CPS' increased targeting of services, including foster care, to younger children and older adolescents from with some exceptions for children under 1 year of age. Possible explanations for all of these trends and implications for child welfare policy and research are offered.

  • Mutual Aid Processes in Treatment Groups for People with Substance Use Disorders: A Survey of Group Practitioners

    Author:
    Andrew Cicchetti
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Michael Smith
    Abstract:

    There is scant empirical evidence demonstrating the presence and importance of mutual aid processes in Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment groups (Crits-Christoph et al, 1999; Sandahl & Ronnberg, 1990). Consequently this exploratory, internet-delivered survey was conducted to further examine the presence of mutual aid processes in abstinence-based SUD treatment groups in the field and the variables that are associated with higher amounts of mutual aid. The sample for this study comprised members of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals (n=484). In order to obtain information about group treatment in the field a trigger question was asked allowing the identification of respondents that had led a treatment group in an abstinent-based setting within the previous two years (n=369). The study utilized an author-created scale, the Mutual Aid Processes Scale (MAPS) comprised of 30 mutual aid processes. Reliability testing of the MAPS indicated high reliability, with a Chronbach's Alpha of .96. Factor analysis suggested that all 30 items related as a unitary construct. Univariate findings suggested that more than two-thirds of the possible mutual aid processes occurred with frequency. Of a range of 0 to 6, the overall score on the MAPS for this study was 3.89, with 4 equaling "frequently", reinforcing the finding that mutual aid processes occur frequently in the groups about which were reported. The amount of education and training received by the group leader was positively associated with the scores on the MAPS. Further bivariate analyses and stepwise multiple regression analyses suggested that the group leader's level of facilitation, frequency of meeting, and heterogeneous composition of membership with regard to mandated status were all positively associated with higher levels of mutual aid as measured on the MAPS, accounting for almost 23% of the variance on the mean scores of the MAPS (adjusted R2= .218). The findings of this study have implications for counselor training, social work education, and group treatment research.

  • Mutual Aid Processes in Treatment Groups for People with Substance Use Disorders: A Survey of Group Practitioners

    Author:
    Andrew Cicchetti
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Michael Smith
    Abstract:

    There is scant empirical evidence demonstrating the presence and importance of mutual aid processes in Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment groups (Crits-Christoph et al, 1999; Sandahl & Ronnberg, 1990). Consequently this exploratory, internet-delivered survey was conducted to further examine the presence of mutual aid processes in abstinence-based SUD treatment groups in the field and the variables that are associated with higher amounts of mutual aid. The sample for this study comprised members of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals (n=484). In order to obtain information about group treatment in the field a trigger question was asked allowing the identification of respondents that had led a treatment group in an abstinent-based setting within the previous two years (n=369). The study utilized an author-created scale, the Mutual Aid Processes Scale (MAPS) comprised of 30 mutual aid processes. Reliability testing of the MAPS indicated high reliability, with a Chronbach's Alpha of .96. Factor analysis suggested that all 30 items related as a unitary construct. Univariate findings suggested that more than two-thirds of the possible mutual aid processes occurred with frequency. Of a range of 0 to 6, the overall score on the MAPS for this study was 3.89, with 4 equaling "frequently", reinforcing the finding that mutual aid processes occur frequently in the groups about which were reported. The amount of education and training received by the group leader was positively associated with the scores on the MAPS. Further bivariate analyses and stepwise multiple regression analyses suggested that the group leader's level of facilitation, frequency of meeting, and heterogeneous composition of membership with regard to mandated status were all positively associated with higher levels of mutual aid as measured on the MAPS, accounting for almost 23% of the variance on the mean scores of the MAPS (adjusted R2= .218). The findings of this study have implications for counselor training, social work education, and group treatment research.

  • The Graying of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Organizational Efforts of Community Service Providers in Adapting Facilities and Programming to Meet the Needs of Older Adults

    Author:
    Donna Corrado
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Michael Smith
    Abstract:

    Abstract THE GRAYING OF PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES: ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORTS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE PROVIDERS IN ADAPTING FACILITIES AND PROGRAMMING TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OLDER ADULTS by Donna M. Corrado Advisor: Professor Michael J. Smith Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living longer, thereby creating unique challenges for the aging and disabilities networks. This qualitative multicase study explored the ways in which six community service organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have adapted their facilities and programming in response to the growing cohort of older persons in their care. The study focused on the following adaptations: physical plant, financial models, workforce, medical care and programming. Twenty-two in-depth interviews were conducted with executive-level staff of the six participating organizations. Data was triangulated through examination of archival data, organizational documents, agency web sites, and publicly available financial records. A cross- case comparison assessed the extent to which organizational characteristics promoted or impeded an agency's ability to make the adaptations necessary to facilitate the aging in place of its older consumers. The following theories contributed to the underlying framework of the study: successful aging, resource dependence, and structural inertia. Study findings indicated that the physical, financial and bureaucratic barriers play a more significant role in impeding or facilitating an agency's ability to make the adaptations necessary than does an agency's affiliation, complexity or relative size. Discussed are the policy implications related to the growing number of older persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as recommendations for future study.

  • Organizational Resilience to Workplace Trauma

    Author:
    Gary DeFraia
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Irwin Esptein
    Abstract:

    Traumatic workplace incidents (critical incidents) occur with unfortunate regularity and with significant repercussions for affected organizations. Critical incident stress management (CISM) is the process organizations utilize to respond to traumatic incidents. CISM includes services provided before, during and after the occurrence of an incident. CISM service units, often a specialty service of employee assistance programs (EAPs) are staffed by workplace trauma professionals, who support organizations post incident. While CISM seeks to support both employee and organizational recovery, trauma research oriented towards individual recovery and resilience dominates the literature. This research contributes to less-prevalent studies that explore how incident characteristics and organizational variables impact organizational level outcomes. By emphasizing the contextual versus the psychological, this research aligns with psychosocial and ecological theories and practice. Contextual factors are particularly relevant for organizational recovery and may even be as important for individual recovery as individual differences and various treatments. This research addresses two important gaps in the literature. Despite the fact that social workers represent the leading discipline delivering CISM service, the social work profession has published little research on CISM programs. Second, while CISM units nationwide collect massive amounts of data on workplace trauma, there are no published, practice-based, studies capitalizing on the potential discoveries within existing CISM data. Employing the methodology of clinical data mining, this exploratory research examines the proposition that knowledge of a pre-incident factor (prior workgroup trauma), incident characteristics (incident type, industry type, incident severity) and service delivery variables (types of services delivered) predict for organizational resilience. Organizational resilience is explored by examining outcomes in the areas of post-incident performance restoration, employee retention and attendance, the helpfulness of services for employees and management and perception of adequacy of organizational response. Multivariate analysis conducted for performance restoration indicates that positive predictors include certain industry types and a single incident type - criminal acts. Prior workgroup trauma and higher incident severity scores were negative predictors for performance. Multivariate analysis for perceived adequacy of organizational response indicates that positive predictors include certain incident types and implementation of on-site services. Prior workgroup trauma was a negative predictor for adequacy of organizational response.

  • The Influence of Early Trauma on the Experience and Expression of Anger in Men on Parole

    Author:
    Melissa Earle
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Bernadette Hadden
    Abstract:

    Abstract THE INFLUENCE OF EARLY TRAUMA ON THE EXPERIENCE AND EXPRESSION OF ANGER IN MEN ON PAROLE By Melissa J. Earle Adviser: Dr. Bernadette R. Hadden This exploratory quantitative study examined the inter-relationship of traumatic events, post-traumatic response, and anger in a population of men who were on parole, were in treatment for alcohol and/or substance abuse, and reported a history of childhood trauma. The central question of the study was how does trauma influence the experience and expression of anger in male trauma survivors who were currently on parole? The study group was recruited from Success Counseling, which is a substance abuse treatment program, located in the Bronx, N.Y. Sixty men participated in the study and identified their ethnicity as either "Hispanic/Latino" (51.7%) or "Black/African American" (48.3%). The current findings of the study indicated that trauma influences the experience and expression of anger in adult men who are on parole and enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program. All of the men in the study acknowledged experiencing multiple traumatic events and were angry in response to those traumas. The univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses of the data supported the presence of a significant relationship between anger and post-traumatic response. The multiple regression results from the measures of anger and post-traumatic response indicated that anger arousal predicts post-traumatic symptoms. Specifically, an increase in anger arousal predicted an increase in post-traumatic symptoms. This result supports the premise that for men in the criminal justice system and mandated to attend anger management programs, the curriculum for these treatment programs needs to include sensitivity to, and interventions for, post-traumatic responses, especially as they relate to anger.

  • "I Can See Colors Again": How Women End Emotional Abuse by Accessing Agency

    Author:
    Fiona Eisenberg
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Elizabeth Danto, Ph.D.
    Abstract:

    The goal of this study is to gain knowledge about the psychological and social factors that impact a woman's decision to end an emotionally abusive relationship. The subjects are women considered to be non-marginalized by society. Social, Psychodynamic and Narrative theories are explored and data is analyzed through a collaborative theoretical lens. The study utilizes a qualitative grounded theory approach, which allows for themes to emerge through data collection and analysis. The findings indicate that a combination of psychological and social factors contribute to the decision making process to end an emotionally abusive relationship, including strong support from family and friends, a sense of agency and being able to name the abuse as emotional. Obstacles to ending the abusive relationship included, the responsibility to make it work, social role pressure and the fear of being alone. The findings will contribute to both the scholarly and clinical social work knowledge base.