Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Interweaving the Inner and Outer Worlds / Edition 2

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Design and implement appropriate, effective social work education programs! This vital human behavior textbook for graduate-level social work students emphasizes the biopsychosocial framework with a psychodynamic and developmental perspective. Written from the perspective of a classroom teacher, faculty advisor, and clinician, this book discusses ego functions, defenses, psychoanalytic theory, object relations, attachment theory, self-psychology, constructivism, and cognitive-behavioral theories. In addition, current social problems such as violence and abuse are addressed. Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Interweaving the Inner and Outer Worlds addresses development through the life cycle, discussing the developmental challenges, tasks, and problems of each stage. Presenting complex concepts in a clear and understandable way, it also examines and integrates systems and organizational factors, as well as the impact of culture on clients and treatment programs. Each chapter of Human Behavior in the Social Environment includes learning exercises and suggested readings. Some of the issues emphasized in this text are: development though the life cycle and the challenges, tasks, and problems of each stage the diversity of forms of families patterns of internal organization and communication within families illness and disabilities mental health problems such as schizophrenia, depression, borderline personalities, anxiety disorders, addictions, and developmental disabilities With case vignettes as well as material from literary works, biographies, and newspapers, this well-referenced volume illustrates the complexities of human existence, the multiple social conflicts operating in society, and the relevance of social policy dilemmas.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Social work students who have the good fortune to have this book as a text for their Human Behavior and the Social Environment class will actually enjoy this very readable overview of numerous theories and their application in case examples. Grounded in a bio-psychosocial perspective, this INCREDIBLY COMPREHENSIVE book emphasizes the psychodynamic understanding of human behavior through examples from novels, biographies and autobiographies in addition to newspaper and magazine articles. . . . BREATHES LIFE INTO THE THEORIES AND MANAGES TO CONVEY THE VAST COMPLEXITY OF LIFE FROM BIRTH TO ADULTHOOD. Learning exercises at the end of each chapter help the student integrate the concepts into a social work practice framework. . . . A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION.”

Nancy Boyd Webb, DSW, Distinguished Professor of Social Work, Fordham University

“True to its title, this work offers A RICH, INCLUSIVE, UP TO DATE REVIEW of the many formulations that help to reveal the person in the environment. More importantly, it identifies converging understandings that bridge separate lines of that work. It thus offers an image of the increasingly comprehensive understandings that are within our grasp and invites our participation in that exciting enterprise.”

Roger R. Miller, DSW, Professor Emeritus, Smith College School for Social Work

“ENGAGING AND LUCID. . . . Presents a balanced view of human behavior theories, successfully shedding light on the age-specific needs, abilities and challenges of individuals over the course of their lives. Drawing on a biopsychosocial perspective, Urdang successfully integrates psychodynamic theory with other theoretical perspectives. . . . SHOULD BE WIDELY USED IN SOCIAL WORK AND RELATED HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CURRICULA.”

Eric Kingson, PhD, Professor of Social Work, Syracuse University

"What an absolute fantastic summary of theories most used in social behaviour assesments! So easy to read and understand, especially Freud which can be so difficult. A highly recommended text."

— Colleen Ballard, (endorsement from

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789034175
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/19/2008
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 736
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Esther Urdang, PhD, formerly Adjunct Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Field Education, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work; Research Advisor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Smith College Graduate School for Social Work; Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, Wheaton College (Spring 2007). She is a licensed independent clinical social worker with over 35 years of experience in the field and holds a Diplomate in Social work from NASW. The author or co-author of numerous articles, Dr. Urdang has also written the first edition of Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Interweaving the Inner and Outer Worlds (Haworth) and Becoming a Social Worker: The First Year.

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Table of Contents

Sect. I The Biopsychosocial Perspective
Ch. 1 Overview 3
Ch. 2 Psychoanalytic and Ego Psychology Theories 37
Ch. 3 Object Relations, Self Psychology, and Cognitive-Behavioral Theories 79
Ch. 4 Social Systems and the Community 113
Ch. 5 Culture and Diversity 155
Ch. 6 The Family: Forms and Organization 201
Ch. 7 The Family: Internal Structures and Special Family Problems 241
Sect. II The Life Cycle
Ch. 8 Reproductive Issues, Infancy, and Early Childhood Development 287
Ch. 9 Middle Childhood and Adolescence 337
Ch. 10 Adult Development 383
Sect. III Special Issues
Ch. 11 Life Transitions, Crises, and Loss 429
Ch. 12 Illness and Disability 459
Ch. 13 Mental Health Problems 497
Sect. IV Integration
Ch. 14 Conclusion 551
References 561
Index 603
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