Congratulations to Elaine Pinderhughes!

The Social Work Library staff extends a warm congratulations to the Professor Emeritus Elaine Pinderhughes for her award from the CSWE. Professor Pinderhughes is the 2012 recipient of the CSWE’s Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award.  Her scholarship has provided social workers with  a framework for culturally competent practice.  Here is a sampling of her more recent publications:

Pinderhughes, E. (2008). In McGoldrick M., Hardy K. V. (Eds.), Black genealogy revisited: Restorying an african american family. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.

Pinderhughes, E. (2010). Culture and the self: On paradoxes and contradictions. Women & Therapy.Special Issue: A Minyan of Women: Family Dynamics, Jewish Identities, and Psychotherapy Practice, 33(3-4), 447-448. doi:10.1080/02703149.2010.484684

Hopps, J. G., Pinderhughes, E., & Lowe, T. B. (2007). A journey through the prism of race: An evolution of generational consciousness. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 16(3-4), 227-252. doi:10.1300/J051v16n03_19

Pinderhughes, E. (2004). The multigenerational transmission of loss and trauma: The african-american experience. In F. Walsh, M. McGoldrick, F. Walsh & M. McGoldrick (Eds.), Living beyond loss: Death in the family (2nd ed.). (pp. 161-181). New York, NY, US: W W Norton & Co.

Pinderhughes, E. (2004). My struggles to understand racism and injustice: How I kept my sanity as a pioneer in multicultural practice, teaching, research and consultation. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 10(1), 26-38.

 

 

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Wikipedia: to Cite or Not to Cite?

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Should I Cite Wikipedia?

There are many things to love about Wikipedia. It is completely free.  It is inclusive in scope because anyone can publish an entry on Wikipedia; in this sense, it represents democracy at its best.  The collaborative nature of Wikipedia is also commendable.  For someone who is just starting their research, it can be a good place to get some basic background information.

But should you cite Wikipedia in your papers?  Our recommendation (and we know this is predictable since we are librarians), is that you should not. Why? Anyone can contribute to Wikipedia, so the person writing about a topic may not be an expert.  The number of people contributing to a Wikipedia article can be numerous, and this may create some inconsistencies. Finally, unless the Wikipedia entry has an extensive list of references, you do not know where the writer got his or her information.

More importantly, as BC students, you have an array of online encyclopedias and other references books.  We link to the Online Encyclopedia of Social Work from our portal page, and this is a comprehensive, searchable four-volume work. You will find many other online encyclopedias and handbooks on each of our research guides.

Although we do not recommending citing Wikipedia, it can still be a very useful tool for you as you start your research. If you look up a topic you do not know very much about, a Wikipedia entry may give you some the background information that you need in order to do further research. Many Wikipedia entries include a list of references, and you may find that obtaining these references will help get you started. So by all means, use Wikipedia, but do not rely on it as a source that you will cite in your paper.

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Autism Diagnosis on the Rise

Several news sources have reported on rising rates of Autism in the United States today. The latest Mortality & Morbidity Report from the Centers for Disease Control reports that number of US children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is 23 percent higher than rates found in earlier data. A Boston Globe article reports that the CDC study shows that much of the increase in identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder in recent years came from minority communities. This increase may reflect how aggressively schools and doctors now screen for and diagnose the condition. In a story from the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Young-Shin Kim, a researcher at Yale University, asserts that “Public awareness has gone up and case identification has gotten better.”

While this is not good news, there is now a lot of research being done on how to help children with Autism. A search in the PsycInfo database reveals that there are hundreds of articles written about evidence-based treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders. The National Guidelines Clearinghouse has several web-based documents on best practices for diagnosing and treating Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Cochrane Library also features a number of suggested guidelines for the treatment of Autism. The National Autism Center has also issued a detailed report. Please contact a Social Work Library staff member if you are looking for more information on the treatment of Autism.

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World Social Work Day

The Social Work Library celebrates World Social Work Day. There are many articles, websites, and videos on the web that promote the social work profession in honor of this day. Here are some of them:

From the International Federation of Social Workers:

http://ifsw.org/get-involved/world-social-work-day/

The Global Agenda for Social Work:

http://ifsw.org/get-involved/agenda-for-social-work/

 

From the Social Care Network (UK):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/social-care-network/2012/mar/20/world-social-work-day-social-media?newsfeed=true

From the government of Ghana:

http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php/news/general-news/11744-ghana-celebrates-world-social-work-day-today

 

 

 

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We Celebrate BC GSSW’s Ranking in US News & World Report!

Image   The Social Work Library staff congratulates Dean Godenzi, the GSSW faculty, staff, and students on the school’s top ten status in the US News & World Report’s recent ranking of graduate schools of social work. We are thrilled that the GSSW’s commitment to excellence has been recognized in this way, and we are proud to serve Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work.

We would also like to point out that there are only ten social work libraries in the country. Six out of ten of these libraries are affiliated with US News & World Report’s top ten schools of social work. These six top ten schools include: Boston College, Washington University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, UC Berkeley, and Case Western Reserve University. Hunter College and the University of Wisconsin also have social work libraries, and they are both ranked within the top twenty schools of social work. Are graduate schools of social work with dedicated libraries more likely to have high rankings from the US News & World Report? The Social Work Library staff certainly hopes so!

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The Importance of Treatment & Therapy for Substance Abuse Issues

The Social Work Library staff mourns the death of gifted singer Whitney Houston. Her death has brought about many articles on the importance of treatment for substance abuse issues. We would like to share the following article from Terri Williams:

From CNN:

Another one of our greats has fallen. It was only a week ago that I was moved to put pen to paper about the suicide of Don Cornelius. Now it’s Whitney Houston. This was a slow suicide, but a suicide nonetheless. We won’t know for weeks whether it was accidental, on purpose or even related to drugs at all.  But it almost doesn’t matter, because most of us saw this coming.

Sure, we hoped, prayed, and thought she was going to make it through – that the years of drug and alcohol abuse, the destructive marriage, the waning career, and an increasingly impaired voice weren’t going to break our beloved soul princess. We just knew that our unbelievably gifted church girl from Jersey with the noble music pedigree was going to be alright. She was our gift to the global stage. Our Barbra Streisand. We wanted so desperately to believe her when she said in the 2009 Oprah interview that God, her family, a couple of stints in rehab, and divorcing Bobby had helped her make it through the fire and on to the other side. But in May of last year, after a world tour that garnered poor performances and vicious reviews, she voluntarily entered an outpatient program for drug and alcohol treatment. We knew then that everything was not well.

Now we want someone to blame – the enabling entourage, the music industry, the tabloids, and, indeed, Whitney herself. Why would someone with so many riches – model good looks, a voice from the heavens that made her millions, a beautiful daughter, and a loving family throw it all away just to get high? Was her constitution that weak? Why couldn’t she just snap out it? We’d seen so many other talented entertainers, like Samuel L. Jackson and Mary J. Blige, battle their demons and, seemingly, win.

I asked psychotherapist friend, Mary Pender Greene, her thoughts on Whitney’s inability to overcome her struggles even though she clearly had a strong faith in God, a loving family, and, in fact, she did seek treatment. She said, “It is clear in the end that she could not, had not repaired her damaged self, reconciled her feelings toward her failed relationship, confronted her dependency issues, or accepted that her voice had suffered. It also appears that being involved in an unhealthy relationship helped to cause her to lose her sense of self, her personal power and her footing, all of which helped to further weaken her self-esteem.”

As one who has been there and is still there, I second that emotion. The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important one we will ever have. If it is strong, it can help buffer you from the outside influences and the kind of pressure that caused Whitney to fall. Personal pain obviously caused Whitney to be her own worst enemy. I strongly believe that a consistent relationship with a therapist would have allowed her to have a different ending.

At some point all of us may encounter that one thing, person or event that breaks us into separate pieces; and the life we built or least portrayed can’t keep going without the other part being self-medicated. That self-medication can come in the form of drugs (illegal or prescription) or alcohol. It can be engaging in inappropriate relationships, risky sexual behavior, overeating, gambling, working, and violence. These are all symptoms, that, yes, need to be treated, but don’t get at the heart of the problem – undiagnosed and untreated depression. It is the devil that gets a hold of your soul and your spirit and proceeds to wreak havoc on you, the victim. And those of us whose loved ones are going through this are often at a loss about what to do either because we don’t know, want to respect that person’s privacy, or because we are eating off of that person’s wellness and look the other way. Yes, a strong belief in God can save you. But for some of us, God can only save a piece and we need to do more than pray.

In a recent interview with Esquire magazine, long-time friend Robyn Crawford commented that “[Whitney] shared the fruits, and she changed a lot of lives. The record company, the band members, her family, her friends, me — she fed everybody. Deep down inside that’s what made her tired.”

And so, Whitney continued to wear the mask – that façade of wellness under extreme pressure that allowed her to keep giving to the world, but not enough to herself. It caused her journey to end much too soon. It has left a daughter without her mother, a mother without her child, and the world without an amazing talent. I would argue that it didn’t have to be and I can’t help but wonder: who is next? How many more have to fall before we begin to really address our own pain and our collective communities’ pain in healthy ways?

I treasure my weekly talk therapy sessions-they are my lifeline. It is an opportunity for me to speak my pain, my struggles, my gains and losses with a professional who is trained to hear what my family and friends and can’t. I have learned to let the tears flow, to slow down, to seek professional help and to look for healthy ways to put my pieces back together – through exercise, proper nutrition, planned downtime– and by surrounding myself with people not afraid to pull my coattails when they see something is wrong.

Noted author Asha Bandele, recently and profoundly said, “But even as we know, too often we don’t ask why. We don’t pull that person close; settle in for long night’s journey back into day. It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to suffer by ourselves and we don’t have to sit by feeling helpless perhaps, whispering… wondering but never really walking into full engagement with that person who we so love and would be devastated to lose.”

I leave you with one of my favorite verses from the famed Paul Lawrence Dunbar poem, We Wear the Mask. It is the last verse and it is cautionary.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask.

Opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Terrie M. Williams.

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The Big Deal About PsycTests

You may have heard Social Work Library staff members and professors rave about the new database, PsycTests. Why is it such a big deal?

PsycTests is a new database from the American Psychological Association. It provides the full-text of tests that have previously been discussed or published in journal literature and books. Before PsycTests, the process of finding tests was not intuitive or logical. Researchers would often write about a test that he/she developed, but not include the actual instrument in the articles they have published. So getting a copy of the actual test could involve contacting the author and waiting for a response.

The easiest way to find tests would have been to browse through our book collection in the Social Work Library. We have collected many useful books with test reprints in them, and these have indeed been useful to students. But browsing through the books for the right test could be a time consuming process. Now, PsycTests has many of the tests that you could at one time only find by browsing through our books. This will save you an enormous amount of time.

As wonderful as PsycTests is, it still may not have exactly what you need.  There may be other steps involved. That is why we recommend that you start looking for a test well before your assignment is due. To learn more about the steps for finding a test, take a look at our Guide to Finding Tests & Measures.

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