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Clinical Social Work Journal
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.498
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 30  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-3343 - ISSN (Online) 0091-1674
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2570 journals]
  • Eating Disorders in ‘Millennials’: Risk Factors and Treatment
           Strategies in the Digital Age
    • Abstract: Abstract Social media applications, known colloquially as “apps,” have quickly impacted the lives of young adults. There is evidence to support that suicide risk and social media use are correlated, which is of particular concern for individuals who struggle with body image, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders. These populations are already at a higher-risk for self-injurious behaviors and thoughts of suicide. In the treatment of eating disorders among emerging adults, known as Millennials, clinicians can feel disconnected to their clients when discussing and intervening in these new socialization structures that demand “perfection”. Understanding this population and its unique subset of challenges is essential in the digital age. This paper will explore common risk factors that precipitate eating disorder symptomology among this cohort, as well as offer a new perspective on treating the emerging adult population utilizing a values-based approach derived from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • A Systematic Review of Loneliness Interventions Among Non-elderly Adults
    • Abstract: Abstract Loneliness—the subjective experience of social isolation—is an important indicator of quality of life for adults and a major determinant of health. While much research has focused on interventions to alleviate loneliness in elderly populations, there has been no systematic investigation of loneliness interventions targeting the non-elderly adult population. The aim of this systematic review is to summarize current understanding on the effectiveness of interventions for alleviating loneliness among non-elderly adults. Littell et al.’s (Systematic reviews and meta-analysis, Oxford University Press, New York, 2008) systematic review process was used to organize, synthesize, and critique findings. An electronic search was conducted using relevant databases (CINAHL, Pubmed, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts) and keywords and index terms for three concepts: age, loneliness outcome, and intervention study. Study selection was limited to studies conducted in English, assessed a primary outcome measure of loneliness, and included a population of non-elderly adults ages 18 to 64. Out of 5813 studies identified for initial screening, 264 studies underwent full-text review, and 68 studies met inclusion criteria. Pairs of reviewers extracted and synthesized data including research design, sampling techniques, and outcomes. Results are grouped by primary sub-populations in which interventions were conducted including people with mental illnesses; disabilities; chronic illnesses; military members; parents and caregivers; immigrants and refugees; and other marginalized groups. Several interventions, particularly those involving technology and support groups, significantly reduced loneliness. This review informs clinical social work practice around programs that reduce loneliness and its consequences among specific sub-populations of non-elderly adults.
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • Reducing Social Isolation Through Formal Youth Mentoring: Opportunities
           and Potential Pitfalls
    • Abstract: Abstract Many young people experience social isolation and loneliness, which can have adverse effects on physical and psychological well-being. We propose that intergenerational relationships created through formal youth mentoring programs have the potential to reduce the social isolation of young people. Mentoring programs also enable adult volunteers to form new interpersonal connections. In addition, mentoring offers the possibility of strengthening the fabric of communities through engagement and interaction among participants from different social, racial, and economic backgrounds. Mentoring program goals, often influenced by sponsor priorities, rarely focus specifically on reducing social isolation and promoting human connections as primary outcomes, but shifting to this emphasis could promote greater attention to relational practice that prioritizes the inherent value of the mentoring relationship itself. Given the long history and widespread popularity of formal youth mentoring, we suggest the field offers practice expertise, research knowledge, and organizational infrastructure as a foundation for addressing social isolation among young people. However, we also caution that youth mentoring, as a relationship-based intervention, poses potential risks if not implemented well. Issues concerning power, ethics, and social justice need to be made explicit to ensure the support of intergenerational relationships that reduce rather than reproduce social patterns of oppression, stigmatization, and inequality.
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • Objective and Subjective Social Isolation and Psychiatric Disorders Among
           African Americans
    • Abstract: Abstract Social isolation is a major problem in the United States that has adverse impacts on health and well-being. However, few studies investigate social isolation among African Americans or the impact of social isolation on psychiatric disorders. This study addresses this gap by investigating the impact of objective (absence of contact with others) and subjective (lacking feelings of closeness to others) social isolation on psychiatric disorders among African Americans. The sample includes 3570 African Americans from the National Survey of American Life. Regression models were used to test the impact of objective and subjective isolation on 12-month MDD, any 12-month DSM disorder and number of 12-month DSM disorders. Analyses indicated that subjective isolation from family only, friends only, and both groups were associated with greater odds of meeting criteria for 12-month MDD, any 12-month disorder and number of 12-month DSM disorders. However, objective isolation was unrelated to either measure of psychiatric disorder. Study findings indicate that affective characteristics of social isolation (feelings of closeness with family and friends) are more significant for psychiatric disorders than are objective features (social contact). Our discussion notes that the connections between subjective and objective social isolation and psychiatric disorders are complex and potentially reciprocally associated with one another. Clinical practice should focus on both possible associations.
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • Caregiver-Initiated Mentoring: Developing a Working Model to Mitigate
           Social Isolation
    • Abstract: Abstract Contemporary society is characterized by social isolation, polarization, and increased mobility. For many families, naturally-occurring support systems are changing and possibly fading. When parents face child-rearing without adequate support networks, they experience high parenting stress, diminished health, and greater risk of maltreating their children. Children in socially-isolated families are prone to a range of social, emotional, and academic difficulties. Formal mentoring programs can help by connecting children with supportive nonparental adults, but the demand for mentoring outpaces program capacity, and formal mentoring programs are seldom designed to partner with parents. Additional, resourceful approaches are needed. In this study, we explored the potential for developing an approach that fosters parents’ capacity to be gatekeepers to their children’s adult support networks. We used a daylong collaborative workshop to partner with six parents from a low-income housing service and five youth-serving professionals from the community. Participants generated potential strategies by which parents can cultivate informal mentoring relationships and identified specific ideas for helping parents (a) see the value of actively seeking informal mentors, (b) recognize and manage potential risks, and (c) identify and make requests of potential informal mentors. Findings from our workshop were used to develop a Caregiver-Initiated Mentoring approach that could be utilized by clinical social workers and other helping professionals. The approach integrates our findings with empirical research from youth mentoring and conceptual underpinnings from parent help-seeking models, the Transtheoretical Model of Change, and Motivational Interviewing.
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • The Relationships Between Loneliness, Social Support, and Resilience Among
           Latinx Immigrants in the United States
    • Abstract: Abstract Globally, international migrants are at elevated risk for experiencing loneliness due to separation from social networks in their countries of origin. In the United States, the political rhetoric has been particularly exclusionary against Latinx immigrants, exposing them to discrimination and fear of deportation. Such environments may result in heightened levels of social isolation, which may contribute to greater risk of poor mental and physical health outcomes. Latinx immigrants, however, may access social support in their destination communities that buffers against these negative outcomes. This study sought to examine how social support and loneliness shape Latinx immigrants’ abilities to address the challenges related to migration. Multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted with survey data collected from Latinx immigrants in New York City (n = 306). Results revealed that Latinx immigrants with greater social support and less feelings of loneliness were more resilient. Specifically, findings suggest that social support may partially protect against the negative impact of isolation on Latinx immigrants’ capacity to thrive. Clinical social workers who work with immigrant groups may consider how migration during the life course affects immigrants’ social supports and experiences of loneliness. Social work interventions that integrate strategies to increase social support may provide opportunities to address social isolation and other obstacles associated with migration. Such approaches acknowledge loneliness not only as a psychological symptom, but also as a consequence of unfavorable social environments towards immigrant populations. Future research may develop and assess culturally relevant strategies to promote social support and reduce loneliness among marginalized immigrants.
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • The Association Between Social Isolation and Health: An Analysis of
           Parent–Adolescent Dyads from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and
           Eating Study
    • Abstract: Abstract We examined the relationship between social isolation and health among parents and their adolescent children. Data came from the 2014 Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating Study (FLASHE), a cross-sectional internet study from the National Cancer Institute. Parents and their adolescent children (ages 12–17) completed surveys about demographics, physical activity, and diet; analyses include all dyads in which at least one member provided information for any of the analyzed variables (N = 1851). Actor Partner Interdependence Models in Mplus with demographic covariates tested whether parent and adolescent perceived social isolation (2 items from the UCLA Loneliness Scale) were associated with each person’s self-reported health. Most dyads included a mother (38% mother–daughter, 36% mother–son). Most parents were non-Hispanic White (69%), married/partnered (77%), and reported household income below $100,000 (79%). Both social isolation and self-reported health were significantly correlated between parents and their adolescent children (Pearson correlation = .38 for isolation, .32 for health). There were negative associations between parent isolation and parent health, adolescent isolation and adolescent health, and parent isolation and adolescent health (all ps < .05), but no association between adolescent isolation and parent health. The finding that parents’ social isolation was linked to lower self-reported health not only for themselves but also for their adolescent children highlights the importance of addressing social isolation in clinical social work practice. Family interventions, or interventions to reduce adults’ negative social cognitions or promote social connections, may improve health for both adults and their adolescent children.
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • The Role of Social Isolation in the Relationships Between Psychosis and
           Suicidal Ideation
    • Abstract: Abstract Social isolation relates to worse mental health outcomes, including lower quality of life, depression, and both suicidal ideation and attempt. Among individuals experiencing symptoms of psychosis, suicide is a leading cause of death and data show greater isolation relates to increased negative symptoms as compared to individuals with strong support systems. While isolation has been linked with negative symptoms in the literature, less is known about its relationships with positive symptoms of psychosis (e.g., hallucinations and delusions), particularly within the context of a general population-based sample. This study examined the relationships between hallucinations, delusions, depression, social isolation, and suicidal ideation. Participants were involved in the cross-sectional Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES) including a large general population-based sample of households in the United States between 2001 and 2003. Participants (n = 12,195) included adults over the age of 18 in the United States, all of whom completed a psychosis assessment. Hopelessness was measured using The Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS), hallucinations and delusions by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and social isolation by three PANSS items (keeping to self, feeling awkward in social settings, preferring to be alone), all at baseline. Data were analyzed in Mplus 8 using structural equation modeling. As hallucinations, delusions, and depression independently increased, on average there were associated increases in social isolation and the likelihood of experiencing suicidal ideation. Social isolation also related to greater suicidal ideation and ultimately functioned as a mediator. With suicide being a leading cause of death for individuals experiencing psychosis, the mediating role of social isolation in the relationships between hallucinations, delusions, depression, and suicidal ideation speaks towards the importance of social support and skills training as important treatment targets in practice.
      PubDate: 2020-03-01
  • Young Adult Depression and Anxiety Linked to Social Media Use: Assessment
           and Treatment
    • Abstract: Abstract Studies suggest that more 30% of college students are currently depressed. A small but growing body of literature suggests that young adults’ social media use correlates with their depressive and anxious symptomology. As many as 90% of young adults use social media currently, compared to just 12.5% in 2005. Further, more than a quarter of college students report spending at least six hours per week on social media, compared to only 18.9% in 2007. Smartphone use within young adult populations also is extremely high: estimates of undergraduate smartphone ownership appear to be as high as 97%. Collectively, these trends suggest that social media and smartphones play an integral role in the routines and culture of young adults. The authors present the existing research linking social media use with depression and anxiety and utilize a case study to illuminate the relationship between young adult depression, anxiety, and social media use. The article provides clear recommendations for the assessment and treatment of social media use in depressed and anxious young adults.
      PubDate: 2020-02-15
  • Introduction to the Special Issue on Social Isolation Across the Lifespan
    • PubDate: 2020-02-11
  • Correction to: The Role of Social Isolation in the Relationships Between
           Psychosis and Suicidal Ideation
    • Abstract: The original version of the article unfortunately contained an error in corresponding author name. Author name was incorrectly published as ‘Lindsay A. Borhneimer’ and the corrected name is ‘Lindsay A. Bornheimer’.
      PubDate: 2020-02-07
  • Eradicating Social Isolation: A Grand Challenge for Social Work
    • PubDate: 2020-02-04
  • Resource and Network Predictors of Multiple Volunteering Cessations:
           Implications for Social Policy and Practice
    • Abstract: Abstract The benefits of volunteering are well-documented, however, studies specifically investigating the cessation of volunteering in old age are relatively limited, especially on multiple stops of volunteering. The present study explores the number of times older people stop volunteering over 14 years, and examines its association with financial resources, health, family demands, social networks, neighborhood environment as well as the sociodemographic characteristics. Using eight-wave data from the Health and Retirement Study, the sample included 3914 volunteers who were 50 + in 1998 and were alive throughout 2012. Among the sample, 32.75% never stopped volunteering, 41.47% stopped once, 20.77% stopped twice, and 5.01% stopped three times. Findings from Poisson regression models indicated that respondents who were older, less educated, less religious, had lower income at baseline, later developed cognitive problems, became caregivers, and had no friends living nearby were more likely to stop volunteering multiple times. Findings from the present study suggest retaining volunteers by adjusting volunteering responsibilities for older volunteers who are more vulnerable to volunteering cessation and encouraging continued commitment by maximizing their friendship and religious networks.
      PubDate: 2020-02-04
  • Productive Aging in the Social Work Profession: A Comparison of Licensed
           Workers 60 Years and Older with Their Younger Counterparts
    • Abstract: Abstract This article reports the findings of an online survey in 13 U.S. states that compared the self-described demographics, wellness factors (mental health, physical health, and substance misuse), practice factors (fields of practice and work environment issues), and feelings about being a social worker (compassion satisfaction, workplace stress, being glad one chose social work and feeling valued as a professional in society) of 870 employed licensed social workers age 60 and older to 4076 licensed social workers under age 60. The results indicate that the older social workers were more likely to be male and white, less likely to report mental health problems, and more likely to work exclusively in private practice. Although older workers reported more serious physical health problems, they rated their physical health more favorably than their younger counterparts. In both bivariate and multivariate analyses, the older social workers scored significantly higher in compassion satisfaction, being glad they chose social work as a career, and feeling valued as a professional in society. The older social workers scored lower in workplace stress at levels that were statistically significant in a bivariate analysis, but not in a multivariate analysis.
      PubDate: 2020-01-28
  • Evaluating and Intervening in the Trauma of Solitary Confinement: A Social
           Work Perspective
    • Abstract: Abstract Clinical social work has yet to address the trauma that prisoners experience from solitary confinement. This paper examines the relationship between trauma and solitary confinement from a social work perspective. The conservation of resources (COR) theory and structural racism provide frameworks from which clinical social workers can evaluate and intervene in the traumatic effects of solitary confinement for prisoners. A review of the literature suggests that few concrete interventions exist for clinical social workers to provide evidence-based treatments to prisoners traumatized by the experience of solitary confinement. The effectiveness of nature imagery, Clinical Alternative to Punitive Segregation (CAPS), and the Sanctuary Model for treating the trauma of solitary confinement are reviewed and evaluated based on their alignment with the COR theory of PTSD development, as well as their ability to address structural racism. This paper concludes with implications for both practice and policy and suggestions for future research to ensure that clinical social workers are prepared to advocate for clinical and policy measures that both alleviate the suffering of this vulnerable population and lay the groundwork for the abolition of solitary confinement all together.
      PubDate: 2020-01-24
  • Private Practice Social Workers’ Commitment to Social Justice
    • Abstract: Abstract The privatization of mental healthcare among social workers has situated them under scrutiny by others in the profession who question private practice clinicians’ commitment to social justice. Some social workers accuse colleagues in private practice of a dereliction of duty, while others in the profession contend that the entrepreneurship of mental healthcare is the only way to freely realize real-world social justice change. Hence, this qualitative research study explores how clinical social workers define social justice as well as if and how they integrate it in a private practice setting. This small qualitative research study was designed to begin to illuminate strengths and gaps regarding how clinical social workers define as well as if and how they integrate social justice in a private practice setting.
      PubDate: 2020-01-21
  • Social Isolation’s Influence on Loneliness Among Older Adults
    • Abstract: Abstract Social isolation and loneliness are significant risks to health among older adults. Previous studies have found a significant association between social isolation and loneliness; however, few studies examined the association between social isolation and loneliness in a multivariate context and how specific types of social isolation influence loneliness. This study fills this gap by examining social isolation’s overall influence on loneliness and how specific social isolation indicators influence loneliness. Data comes from 2014 Wave of the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative study of adults aged 50 and older. Social isolation was operationalized using seven indicators as social isolation from: (1) adult–children, (2) other family members, (3) friends, (4) living alone, (5) being unmarried, and (6) not participating in social groups or (7) religious activities. Loneliness was operationalized by the Hughes 3-item loneliness scale. Loneliness was regressed on social isolation and key socio-demographic factors. Results found when social isolation indicators were combined into an index, every unit increase in overall social isolation was associated with an increase in loneliness. Furthermore older adults who were isolated from other family members and from friends, lived alone, were single, and did not participate in social groups or religious activities reported greater loneliness. Study findings demonstrate that greater overall social isolation and specific social isolation indicators are associated with greater loneliness. Clinical practice with older adults can be enhanced by understanding the connections between social isolation and loneliness and which forms of social isolation are more meaningful for perceived loneliness.
      PubDate: 2019-12-23
  • Social Isolation Loneliness Among LGBT Older Adults: Lessons Learned from
           a Pilot Friendly Caller Program
    • Abstract: Abstract Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ +) older adults face heightened risks of social isolation, given decades of discrimination. Research on telephone buddy programs with non-LGBTQ + participants has proved predominantly unsuccessful at addressing social isolation. However, evidence suggests that LGBTQ + adults may actually benefit from telephone buddy programs and in ways uniquely different from other groups. This article shares lessons learned from 35 participants across a 12-month pilot program that matched LGBTQ + older adults to mostly LGBTQ + volunteer callers of various ages. Over one-third of participants identified as people of color and over 20% as transgender or gender nonbinary. This project employed community-based participatory action research to identify, implement, and evaluate the program. Data includes information from questionnaires and telephone interviews prior to and during the program. Nearly all participants identified the importance of LGBTQ + community in addressing social isolation and loneliness. Intergenerational matches also provided promising findings for making connections. While the project aimed to capture two groups (LGBTQ + older adults experiencing isolation and volunteer callers providing support), the project revealed a third group: LGBTQ + older adults at risk of social isolation. This third group usually emerged among the “Volunteer” callers who identified concerns about their own social isolation. The persistence of structural barriers also required the program to adapt to best meet participant needs. This article concludes with lessons learned and clinical implications for social workers who are addressing social isolation and loneliness among LGBTQ + older adults.
      PubDate: 2019-12-12
  • “That’s Why I Stay to Myself”: Marginalized Youth’s Meaning Making
           Processes of Social Disconnectedness
    • Abstract: Abstract Nearly 15% of youth in New Orleans have been labeled “socially disconnected” from formal educational and economic systems (Babineau et al. in No longer invisible: Opportunity youth in New Orleans,, 2016). Socially disconnected youth face barriers to social, psychological, and economic well-being (Mendelson et al. in Public Health Rep 133:54S–64S, 2018). While there has been attention to the detrimental impacts associated with isolation in adolescence, there is a limited examination of how social isolation manifests in the lives of disconnected youth in urban communities. Data were collected from six focus groups at three youth-serving agencies in the urban south. Participants were aged 16–24 (n = 39), mixed gender, and the majority identified as African American. We utilized a thematic content analysis approach that involved multiple rounds of inductive coding. Youth reported an overarching theme of “staying to oneself’ or self-isolation. Youth constructed isolation as a complex cognitive and physical process utilized to stay safe from community and interpersonal violence. Self-isolation functioned as a tool of self-protection and as being essential to surviving and thriving amidst adversity. The consequences of self-isolation include perceptions that participants are alone to deal with life’s challenges and purposeful disengagement from community life. These findings offer a reframing of isolation that deviates from a good/bad binary to a more expansive understanding of the myriad ways isolation manifests in the lives of disconnected youth. While social service agencies aim to reconnect youth economically and academically, these findings underscore the importance of addressing upstream drivers of social disconnectedness, as well as integrating healing-centered clinical interventions.
      PubDate: 2019-12-05
  • “They Kept Away”: Social Isolation of Cisgender Women Living with HIV
           in Hyderabad, India
    • Abstract: Abstract Social isolation of cisgender women living with HIV has been recognized as a barrier to early detection of the virus, disclosure of HIV status to partners, and access to healthcare and social work services. The goal of this study is to explore how social isolation and depression affect cisgender women living with HIV in Hyderabad, India. Sixteen cisgender women living with HIV were asked to complete in-depth interviews regarding their experiences with HIV stigma and depression. All interviews were digitally audio-recorded in Hindi or Telugu, then translated, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analysis by two to three coders. Three main themes emerged from the qualitative interviews among these cisgender women living with HIV: (1) “They kept away”: Experiences with social isolation; (2) “I thought people would think badly about me”: Perceived experiences of discrimination; and (3) “I will live till I die”: Suicidality, resilience, and gaining hope. Our findings reinforce the need for emphasis on culturally appropriate interventions for depression for cisgender women living with HIV in India, including greater access to mental health resources, greater availability of trained counselors that share the same gender and are native speakers of Hindi or Telugu, and increased family and community support for socially isolated individuals.
      PubDate: 2019-12-04
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