Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dorothy Height, Unsung Heroine of Civil Rights Era, Is Dead at 98 - Obituary (Obit) -

Dorothy Height, Unsung Heroine of Civil Rights Era, Is Dead at 98 - Obituary (Obit) -

A social worker: Dorothy Height, a leader of the African-American and women’s rights movements who was considered both the grande dame of the civil rights era and its unsung heroine, died on Tuesday in Washington. She was 98.

Monday, April 19, 2010

ABC News: Obama Orders Hospitals to Allow Gay Partners Visitation, Health Care Rights - ABC News

Obama Orders Hospitals to Allow Gay Partners Visitation, Health Care Rights - ABC News

In a nod to the rights of lesbian and gay couples, President Obama has ordered the nation's hospitals to allow patients to determine for themselves who has visitation rights and who can make medical decisions.

Janice Langbehn, 41, with three of her children: David 14, Danielle, 16, and Katie, 13. Langbehn,...
(Photo by DJ Bradley)

In a memo, Obama instructed the health and human services secretary to draft new rules for hospitals that receive federal Medicare and Medicaid payments.

The order gives LGBT partners the same visitation and health proxy rights that are enjoyed by immediate family members.

Most hospitals will now be banned from denying those privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Friday, April 16, 2010

NYT News: Aging and Gay, and Facing Prejudice in Twilight

Aging and Gay, and Facing Prejudice in Twilight

What should institutions do to help elderly, gay clients?

James Estrin/The New York Times

Even now, at 81 and with her memory beginning to fade, Gloria Donadello recalls her painful brush with bigotry at an assisted-living center in Santa Fe, N.M. Sitting with those she considered friends, “people were laughing and making certain kinds of comments, and I told them, ‘Please don’t do that, because I’m gay.’”

Jalna Perry of Boston said her guard was always up in nursing homes. 

The result of her outspokenness, Ms. Donadello said, was swift and merciless. “Everyone looked horrified,” she said. No longer included in conversation or welcome at meals, she plunged into depression. Medication did not help. With her emotional health deteriorating, Ms. Donadello moved into an adult community nearby that caters to gay men and lesbians.

So that is where Lisa Krinsky, the director of the L.G.B.T. Aging Project in Massachusetts, begins her “cultural competency” training sessions, including one last month at North Shore Elder Services in Danvers. 

In the last two years, Ms. Krinsky has trained more than 2,000 employees of agencies serving the elderly across Massachusetts. She presents them with common problems and nudges them toward solutions.  

“We need to be open and sensitive,” Ms. Krinsky said, “but not wrap them in a rainbow flag and make them march in a parade.”

News: President Obama - Our Equality HERO!

In the cultural competency sessions at NASW Symposium yesterday, we were just lamenting how same-sex partners have had to actually lie to gain access to their loved ones in the hospital, as well as how unfair and demeaning that can be!

This executive action is Amazing!!!  Thank you, President Obama!!

Washington Post reports:
President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients' choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans. 
The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation

Huffington Post reports:

The designated visitors should have the same rights that immediate family members now enjoy, Obama's instructions said. It said Medicare-Medicaid hospitals, which include most of the nation's facilities, may not deny visitation and consultation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. 
The move was called a major step toward fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NYT Op-Ed: Our Fill-in-the-Blank Constitution

Our Fill-in-the-Blank Constitution
Constitutional law is not a mechanical exercise of just “applying the law.”

AS the Senate awaits the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice, a frank discussion is needed on the proper role of judges in our constitutional system.

So, how should judges interpret the Constitution? To answer that question, we need to consider why we give courts the power of judicial review — the power to hold laws unconstitutional — in the first place. Although the framers thought democracy to be the best system of government, they recognized that it was imperfect. One flaw that troubled them was the risk that prejudice or intolerance on the part of the majority might threaten the liberties of a minority. As James Madison observed, in a democratic society “the real power lies in the majority of the community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended ... from acts in which the government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents.” It was therefore essential, Madison concluded, for judges, whose life tenure insulates them from the demands of the majority, to serve as the guardians of our liberties and as “an impenetrable bulwark” against every encroachment upon our most cherished freedoms.

The power of judicial review to invalidate laws that disadvantage racial and religious minorities, political dissenters, people accused of crimes and others who are unlikely to have their interests fully and fairly considered by the majority. Liberal judges have ended racial segregation, recognized the principle of “one person, one vote,” prohibited censorship of the Pentagon Papers andupheld the right to due process, even at Guantánamo Bay. This approach to judicial review fits much more naturally with the concerns and intentions of people like Madison who forged the American constitutional system.

NASW News from the Hill: Social Work & the Health Care Reform Law

Professional Social Worker Services in Health Care Reform
Wondering what's in the new health care reform law to advance the social work profession? NASW recently released a very popular briefing on the various ways the new law will directly impact the social work profession. Interested social workers may view it here

.White House Provides Resources on Health Care Reform Law
The White House website offers a wide array of materials to explain the new federal health care reform law and its impact on consumers, providers, businesses and payers. You may find these resources helpful as you seek reliable information and explanations of the complex new law. Social workers that wish to learn more about the law in easily understood briefing sheets should see the White House website here.

Time is Running Out! Reinvest in the Profession.
With less than 60 days left in the Congressional calendar, we are running out of time in the 111th Congress to pass the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (H.R. 795/S. 686). Contact your Representative and Senators TODAY in support of this bill. We really need your help if you are represented by any members of the House Committee on Education and Labor. We already have 83 cosponsors in the House and 12 in the Senate but if we are unsuccessful in passing this bill, we will have to start over in the 112th Congress.

Congressman Towns Contacts President Obama and Secretary Sebelius in Support of Social Work
The lead sponsor of the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act, Congressman and social worker Ed Towns (D-NY) sent a letter to the President and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging them to establish a Social Work Reinvestment Commission within the HHS. Rep. Towns says that, "social workers are a key resource for the nation's most vulnerable populations including older adults, children, the impoverished, veterans, and people at risk for disparate health and behavioral health services access." He goes on to state that workforce challenges are preventing our profession from recruiting and retaining enough social workers to keep pace with the increasing demand for our services. Rep. Towns states that, "The federal government has previously invested in comparable professions such as nursing and teaching when faced with workforce shortages. We now much focus on social work by establishing this Commission..." NASW thanks Rep. Towns for his unwavering support of the profession.

Monday, April 12, 2010

SWB / Happiness : Variables Which Are Correlated refined

Based on DeNeve and Cooper's (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analyses of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197-229 findings:

The highest correlates with subjective well-being are:
  1. r=.30 Personality traits, namely trust, emotional stability (neuroticism?), desire for control, hardiness, locus of control-chance (believing events happen by chance), and tension (experiencing negative emotions).
  2. r=.29 Affiliation (wanting to relate to others)
  3. r=.29 Perceived Control
  4. r=-.27 Neuroticism
  5. r=.25 Internal Locus of Control (crediting or blaming self for events that happen)
  6. r=.23 Social Desirability (responding in a manner one believes will lead to approval from others)
  7. r=.20 Sociability (relating well with others)
  8. r=.20 Extraversion
From Lykken & Tellegran. (1996). Happiness is a stochastic phenomenon. American Psychological Society, 7(3), 186-189
  • Genetics also account for 80% of stable SWB

From Lucas, Richard E.; Fujita , Frank (2000). Factors influencing the relation between extraversion and pleasant affect.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 79(6), Dec, 2000. pp. 1039-1056.
  • Extraversion (r=.38 and up to .80 when other variables controlled for)
From DeNeve & Cooper (1998)
  • Conscientiousness (r=.20)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Case Study: on Craigslist @ Bloggasmdy

Informal research, for sure.  But, an idea I find especially fascinating, since I like learning more about people, in general.  I have tried something in this vein, myself, but did not keep track of the results as this person did.  I think it's pretty interesting

Bloggasm � Your chances of getting laid through Craigslist: A Bloggasm case study

NASW Re-Post: "Ethical Stress" -- April 15 Forum: Defending Patient Care Against External Pressures | NASW Press Room Blog

I'll be at the NASW-MA Symposium on this afternoon, but I am really interested in what's referred to in social work as "vicarious trauma" and "secondary trauma."   Resources welcomed!

April 15 Forum: Defending Patient Care Against External Pressures | NASW Press Room Blog

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SPSS Guide: Counting Responses with Frequency Tables

Using a sample of 25 children's responses about their favorite cereals.  The comma delimited data set is available below.

1a. What percentage are males? Females?


          61.54% are male, 34.62% are female.  It looks like, in this data, that one gender value was coded as "1" which is a mistake, and which adds a value to the 25 to equal 26.

1b. Which cereal was preferred by most children?

Data File in comma delimited format:

Ghostly Shadows,crazy,squirt gun,M
Ghostly Shadows,Like,squirt gun,M
Ghostly Shadows,not part,squirt gun,M
Canary Crunch,not part,ring,M
Turtle Treats,crazy,squirt gun,F
Turtle Treats,crazy,ring,F
Turtle Treats,Like,ring,F
Ghostly Shadows,crazy,ring,m
Canary Crunch,not part,squirt gun,F
Turtle Treats,crazy,squirt gun,F
Ghostly Shadows,Like,ring,F
Canary Crunch,not part,squirt gun,F
Turtle Treats,Like,ring,M
Ghostly Shadows,crazy,whistle,F
Canary Crunch,don't know,ring,M
Turtle Treats,crazy,whistle,F
Turtle Treats,Like,ring,F
Ghostly Shadows,Like,squirt gun,F
Turtle Treats,Like,ring,F
Turtle Treats,crazy,can't decide,M
Canary Crunch,Like,ring,F
Turtle Treats,crazy,squirt gun,M
Ghostly Shadows,Like,ring,F
Turtle Treats,Like,ring,F
Turtle Treats,crazy,ring,F

Music: The Urban Landscapes Radioshow

Just a little aside.. directory has music podcasts.  Streaming music for studying or working.

The Urban Landscapes Radioshow

Variables Predicting Happiness

From CGH Systems Book:

  •  Overall Ideas:  Positive Mental State: contentment, joy, overall satisfaction, positive mood, absence of negative mood, living according to true self (inner daemon).   Bliss, power, knowledge, optimism.  Feelings: self-esteem, hopefulness, capability, resilience/hardiness, decision-making ability, intrinsic motivation.   NOT: sex, age, having children, location, race, income (these can be controlled for). Except for when there is extreme financial hardship.
  • Predictors of Happiness: self-esteem, social support, efficacy, relatedness (feeling socially included), loving relationship with a spouse, personality traits such as extroversion and openness, community involvement, optimism, ack of neuroticism, spiritual or religious, autonomy, competence having goals and values, ability to adapt (change has a short impact), making progress, using effort, pursuing goals, lack of rumination, adequate resources, (Myers, 1992; Costa & McCrae, 1980; Heady & Wearing, 1992; Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999). Hardiness & Resiliency (Siebert, 1996)
  • Positive Mental Health: ego strength, intrnisic motivation, optimism (Antonovsky, 1993; Maddi, 1999a, 1996b).  Mental Health: feelings of vitality, subjective well-being, problem solving abilities, excercising control over environment and self, self-understanding and insight.  Jung variables: psychic ingeration, wholess, or sense of self.  Also, personality types. NF, SF, ST, NT types.  Maslow: Self-actualization.