School of Social Work

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    Dimensions of critical social work practice in India
    (2023) Vareed, Baiju
    Critical social work opens a dialogue for social change by challenging the prevailing socio-economic conditions of the people and examining the underlying factors that contribute to the inequality and misery of people. Critical social work includes different theoretical and practice frameworks such as radical social work, anti-oppressive social work, and environmental social work. As a practice approach, critical social work applies to working with individuals, groups, and communities as well as in the clinical and developmental sectors. While all the approaches have their scope of practice in India, this article will focus on understanding and applying structural social work, feminist approaches to social work and Dalit social work in the Indian context. Considering the country's social context, it can be argued that Dalit social work falls within critical social work in India, where the writings and actions of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar contribute to critical social work in India and other parts of the world. The article critically analyses power structures in the country and the manifestation of oppression in different forms and discusses how the practice of critical social work can aid in personal liberation and emancipation in an Indian context.
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    Identity, power, and social work practice in India
    (2023) Vareed, Baiju
    A person's identity puts them in different social categories, positions, and statuses. An individual's social position has corresponding power or powerlessness, which influences their interaction with others in the community. The individual identities, social positions, and authority of social workers place them in a higher level of power in relation to the people they serve. This imbalance of power between social workers and clients affects the helping process. This article discusses how personal identity and power influence social work practice in the Indian context. Social structures like caste-based discrimination and patriarchal norms contribute to inequitable social positioning in the country. Following a critical social work approach, the paper presents the different dimensions of power in the social work relationship and proposes means for sharing power with the clients.
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    Social inclusion and immigrant older adults
    (2021) Tong, Hongmei; Walsh, Christine A.; Bouchard, Nathalie; Lai, Daniel W. L.
    Social inclusion is crucial to older adults as it facilitates them to stay actively; gives them a sense of belonging, purpose, and accomplishment; and enhances their quality of life. Social inclusion also offers opportunities for older adults to continue contributing to the development of society based on their needs, preferences, and abilities. Given the population of immigrants has grown globally, and immigrant older adults are often neglected in policy making, this chapter will discuss the concepts of social inclusion and social exclusion in the context of immigration and specifically for immigrant older adults based on current literature and previous studies. Policy implications and practice recommendations will be outlined.
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    Refugee status is associated with double the odds of psychological distress in mid-to-late life: findings from the Canadian longitudinal study on aging
    (2020) Tong, Hongmei; Lung, Yu; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Kobayashi, Karen M.; Davison, Karen M.; Agbeyaka, Senyo; Fuller‑Thomson, Esme
    Psychological distress is associated with a range of negative outcomes including lower quality of life and an increased risk of premature all-cause mortality. The prevalence of, and factors associated with, psychological distress among middle-aged and older Canadians are understudied. Using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) baseline data, this study examined factors associated with psychological distress among adults between 45 and 85 years, including refugee status and a wide range of sociodemographic, health-related and social support characteristics. Psychological distress was measured by Kessler’s Psychological Distress Scale-K10 scores. Bivariate and multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. The prevalence of psychological distress was significantly higher among the 244 refugees (23.8%), compared to 23,149 Canadian-born Canadians (12.8%) and 4,765 non-refugee immigrants (12.6%), despite the fact that the average time the refugees had lived in Canada was more than four decades. The results of the binary logistic regression analysis indicated refugees had twice the age-sex adjusted odds of psychological distress (OR = 2.31, 95% CI: 1.74, 3.07). Even after further adjustment for 16 potential risk factors, a significant relationship remained between refugee status and psychological distress (OR = 1.56; 95% CI = 1.12, 2.17). Other significant factors associated with psychological distress included younger age, female gender, visible minority status, lower household income, not having an undergraduate degree, multimorbidities, chronic pain, and lack of social support. Policies and interventions addressing psychological distress among Canadians in mid- to later life should target refugees and other vulnerable groups.
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    Post‑traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid‑age and older adults difers by immigrant status and ethnicity, nutrition, and other determinants of health in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)
    (2021) Davison, Karen M.; Hyland, Christina E.; West, Meghan L.; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Tong, Hongmei; Kobayashi, Karen M.; Fuller‑Thomson, Esme
    This study aimed to address knowledge gaps about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid-age and older adults, with particular attention to the relationship of PTSD with nutrition and with ethnicity and immigrant status.