Social History Assessment / Edition 1

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In the mental health and human service professions, taking a social history marks the start of most therapeutic interventions. Social History Assessment is the first resource to offer practical guidance about interpreting the social history. Author Arlene Bowers Andrews provides rich resources to assist helping professionals as they gather and--most importantly--interpret information about social relationships in the lives of individuals.

Key Features:

Focuses on interpreting and making meaning of the social history: Humans are complex creatures. Their biology, psychology, and social relations affect their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and sensations. This book particularly addresses the personal social history, that is, the interpersonal relationships that have influenced the development of the person during the life course.

Offers comprehensive guidance on composing a social history: In addition to numerous case examples and a variety of helpful tools such as genograms and ecomaps, the chapters cover ethical issues, core theories of human behavior in the social environment, tips for comprehensively gathering information about and describing the social history, and guidance regarding interpreting the history.

Reaches a multidisciplinary audience: Whether the professional comes from social work, psychology, counseling, psychiatry, nursing, or another health or human service discipline, exploring the client’s origins helps build rapport and lays the foundation for mutual client-professional assessment. This book offers a common understanding across disciplines of what constitutes an informative social history, with theoretically grounded interpretation, to benefit multidisciplinary teamwork and the client.

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Editorial Reviews

Psyc CRITIQUES: Contemporary Psychology
"Her book takes us on a journey back to the basics of conducting a thorough and informative social history and is an account of what a real social history involves...I recommend this book not only for the novice but also for all clinicians who want an edge on how to accumulate more pertinent information concerning their patients and to guide their treatment. " -PSYCCRITIQUES— Leslie M. Lothstein
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Sciences
"...what impresses me about this text is that Andrews uses her love of social history to take a subject that is rarely celebrated and remind us of what is exciting about it." — Jonathan B. Singer
Psyc Critiques - Leslie M. Lothstein
"Her book takes us on a journey back to the basics of conducting a thorough and informative social history and is an account of what a real social history involves...I recommend this book not only for the novice but also for all clinicians who want an edge on how to accumulate more pertinent information concerning their patients and to guide their treatment. " —PSYCCRITIQUES
Families in Society - Jonathan B. Singer
"...what impresses me about this text is that Andrews uses her love of social history to take a subject that is rarely celebrated and remind us of what is exciting about it."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412914130
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 12/5/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Arlene Bowers Andrews, community psychologist and Professor of Social Work at the University of South Carolina, has extensive experience in community-based practice and research, program evaluation, and services systems for families affected by turbulence. At USC she was a founder and former director of the Institute for Families in Society, an interdisciplinary research center that conducts research to enhance families through community partnerships. Prior to her academic career, she was the founding executive director of Sistercare, a multi-county system of services to families affected by intimate partner violence, founding executive director of Prevent Child Abuse-South Carolina, and a board member of multiple community and regional organizations, including the Southern Regional Council. She served for eight years on the South Carolina Joint Legislative Committee on Children and families and is an active volunteer in faith-based youth development work. She has been an expert witness on matters of family history and human behavior in federal and several state courts.

Dr. Andrews is co-editor of The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Implementing the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living (Praeger, 1999), co-author with Elizabeth Beck and Sarah Escholz of In the Shadow of Death: Families of Loved Ones Who Face the Death Penalty (Oxford University Press, 2006), and the author of Victimization and Survivor Services (Springer, 1992), Send Me! The Story of Salkehatchie Summer Service (Providence Publishing House, 2006), and several articles and book chapters regarding violence prevention and community systems development.

Dr. Andrews is a graduate of Duke University and the University of South Carolina.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures     ix
Preface     xi
The Significance of a Person's Social History     1
The Focus on Social Relations     5
The Social History: Overview     6
Ethical Issues in Assessing Social History     9
The Professional Lens, Part I: Human Social Development and the Life Course     17
Human Development and the Life Course     17
Developmental Processes     18
Developmental Domains     19
Expectations for Healthy Development in the United States     21
Time, the Life Course, and Intergenerational Influences     23
Development and the Social History     24
Critical Processes in Social Development     24
Learning and Adaptation     24
Attachment, Emotional Regulation, and Stability in Social Relations     26
Stress, Coping, Vulnerability, and Resilience     29
Deprivation     35
Summary     38
The Professional Lens, Part II: Social Ecology of Human Development and Behavior     39
Environmental Context and Social Systems Theory     39
Family and Social Networks as Mediators of Individual Behavior     42
Family Structure     42
Family Processes     45
Family Resources     46
Behavioral Genetics     47
Social Networks     49
The Individual, Families, and Social Networks     51
Communities and Organizations     52
Communities     52
Organizations     55
Social Ecology: The Broader Environment     57
Culture, Class, Race-Ethnicity, and National Origin     57
Gender Identity and Gender Roles     60
Sexuality and Reproduction     62
Spirituality and Religion     64
Government and Public Policy     65
Globalization     66
Individuals in the Social Environment     68
Summary     71
Describing the Social History     73
Establishing the Facts     73
Interviews     74
Records     81
Direct Observation     82
Information About Community Context     84
Referrals for Focused Assessments     85
Data Gathering Pitfalls     86
Organizing and Writing the Social History Description     90
Social History Report, Part One: Description of the History     90
Conclusion: Describing the History      93
Making Meaning: Interpreting the Social History     95
The Process of Developing the Professional Opinion     96
Discovering Interpretive Themes     98
Repetitions     98
Systems Dynamics     99
Social Relations and Resources     100
Transitions and Their Impact     102
Ecological Context     102
Weaving Themes     103
Case Examples     104
Example of Descriptive and Interpretive Themes: Excerpt From Professional Notes for Oral Report to Forensic Multidisciplinary Team     104
Example of Descriptive and Interpretive Portions of a Report: Excerpt From Therapist's Assessment Report in a Mental Health Treatment Setting     110
Putting It All Together     126
Tools to Aid Social History Development     127
Social History Interview Topical Guide     128
Topics to Cover in a Social History Interview     130
Sample Family Social History Assessment Instruments     147
Family Assessment Form: A Practice-Based Approach to Assessing Family Functioning     147
Family Background Questionnaire (FBQ)     148
Family Connections Family Assessment     149
Family Inventory of Life Events and Changes (FILE)     149
Family Inventory of Life Events and Changes (FILE)-Adolescent Version     150
Family of Origin Recollections (FOR)     151
Family Social History Questionnaire     151
Multigenerational Interconnectedness Scales (MIS)     152
Person-in-Environment (PIE)     153
Quickview Social History     153
Social Environment Inventory (SEI)     154
Checklist for Social History Records Compilation     155
List of Social History Records     155
Record Sources     157
Tools to Describe Social Relationships     160
Genogram     160
Sociogram or Ecomap     166
Tools to Describe Life Events     169
Chronology     169
Life History Calendar     171
Time Line     174
Photographs and Other Artifacts     174
Tools to Describe Life Context     174
Geographic Maps     174
Community Profile and Assessment     177
Building Floor Plans and Other Drawings     178
Ecological Chart     179
Tools to Illustrate Case Theories     181
Conclusion     183
References     185
Index     197
About the Author      207
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