Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SWK 5223)

A course at the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work taught by Carrie Jankowski, MSSW, LCSW

Author: Amber Cook

BP 12

After watching the TED Talk on mindfulness I realized how I do not incorporate time to “just do nothing”. Even the first time watching the video I was eating and semi-listening to my son explain a Pokemon’s power. Needless to say, I had to watch the video again. This time more focused and alone. After internalizing the lack of self-care I take for my mind; I took the next ten minutes and tried to meditate. I found this hard to do since this is not something in my everyday practice. However, I can understand the need and have the motivation to include this into my everyday life. This would be a simple task to complete between driving from one client’s home to the others, right before bed etc.

Wow, what a success in completing the first semester of grad school! I am beyond impressed with myself and my abilities. This class has helped me understand a lot and put some personal challenges (in work and personal life) into perspective. Two main things I will be taking with me from this class will be the entirety of information over the ageing population. This is a population I have not had a chance to work with, let alone take the time to acknowledge. The information provided over this population will allow me to not only assist any client at any age, by either explaining what is possibly going on in their own family or what is going on to themselves, but also allow me to be more patient with my own family. The second main thing I will take with me if the holistic approach that is needed for this profession. By assessing the biology and environment of each person allows for a different approach and perspective that the individuals deserve and need.


As I have forgotten about my blog post the last couple of weeks I have not made any changes. One change that I need to commit to complete is purchasing the template that I am wanting to use. I do believe this website can assist me in the future within my career.

As Broderick and Blewitt (2015) have reported, the capacity to adapt to stress is critical to survival. If we continue to have problematic situations or stressors in our life, our mental and physical health are effected. Such as not getting enough sleep due to taking care of sick child while balancing employment.

While working with populations that struggle with copying skills or those who have roles that require a lot of attention it is important for them to understand that they need to take care of themselves. As a social workers I would start by restating how their physical and mental health is being effected by what they are reporting is going on in their environment. I would continue to explain to them the correlation between stress and their mental and physical health along with how decision making/ setting boundaries/ etc. can be effected. Then, I would assist them with creating a self care plan to practice everyday or when needed to reduce stress.


Broderick (2015) explains Perry’s Theory of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years. In Perry’s theory, the first position the majority already surpasses is dualism. This means someone never questions their beliefs that some in an authoritative position is wrong. In my life this would have happened as a child when being taught several different things at home or in school. An example of this would be the teaching of Christopher Columbus. Another position in Perry’s theory is multiplicity.  This means someone is unsure of what to believe because now they are faced with several perspectives. I would have probably emerged with this position when I first moved out of my parents home. I was working with a diverse group of people and were faced to think about cultural differences such as how people spend their holidays. I was unsure if what I believed was even right. The next position in Perry’s theory is relativism. This marks a major change in intellectual development. During this position someone has affirmation in their own beliefs and is able to commit to their own beliefs. This would have defined my time in my undergrad in social work. I was raised in a very conservative family and have chosen a liberal field. I am able to stand by my beliefs while respecting my family’s opinions. A young adult in today’s times could achieve these different positions of thinking by moving out on their own and being employed with a diverse group of people.


While reviewing Christina W’s website from the perspective of an employer, recommendations were made to add information under the “About” page to let future employers know more about who she is, to make her menu bar more accessible or easier to find to allow viewers to navigate through the website, and to add her resume somewhere on her website to let future employers now the great work she has completed through out her career.

Broderick and Blewitt (2015) express the importance of participating in  leisure activities during the adolescent years. Softball and being apart of the art club in high school granted me the opportunities that assisted in skill development,  working as a team, and creating social relationships. However, I also grew up during the time cell phones became more accessible, reality TV shows started, and the usage of the computer became a necessity. In return, this possibly could have lead to less communication with peers and loss of focus on responsibilities according to the authors.


There are several individual and collective things that get in the way of our goals; several people have expressed the challenge of adding school work into the mix. As a personal challenge, setting and following a better schedule that makes the time for school work will be my contribution to myself to ensure a better learning experience. This will include setting time aside for reading, reviewing outside material, and having a balance of work load between different classes. As a collaborative challenge, expressing encouragement to others and listening to their ideas of they over come challenges will be my contribution to my cohort.


At a very young age, as a female from my experience, you learn to wear dresses, play with dolls, and visually see adult women maintaining the home (whether they work outside the home or not). These gender schemas have influenced the beliefs about how we should behave and strive for creating gender stereotypes. Gender schemas have shown to affect how children choose the behaviors they wish to exhibit (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015, p.300). The above mentioned experiences can be restrictive on what behaviors are chosen to learn about and solely engage in.  However, other experiences have been observed where adult females worked outside the home and strived to progress in their company. These experiences and/or observations can be inspiring as the behaviors chosen will seek to learn new objectives (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015, p.300).  This ultimately challenges gender stereotypes and can change gender schemas in a more positive way that inspires inclusivity.

Amber Cook 2016-09-15 23:46:57

Infants have a variety of temperaments that can be observed when they are newborns. Recognizing each infants temperament is identifying the different emotional and behavioral characteristics  (Broderick, 2015). The New York  Longitudinal  Study indicates that an infant’s temperament can affect the way a parent cares for them, such as making it more difficult to be a sensitive caregiver. The study also reflects on how a parent cares for their infant can influence the infants temperament  (Broderick, 2015, p.145).  An infant that has a high activity level might make their parent more frustrated and respond in a negative way.


Decreasing play activities during school schedules appears to be a growing trend. Allowing young children to engage in exploratory play, children are learning about spatial, numerical, and categorical relations (Broderick, 2015, p.94).  Preschoolers are also expected to have the capacities for paying attention, taking turns, staying on task ect. According to Broderick and Blewitt  (2015, p.115) primary grade teachers express the concern that many students lack the skills necessary to learn. Decreasing play activities pressures  students to be prepared to pass tests, which is not entirely  increasing the cognitive development of the child. Broderick and Blewitt  (2015, p. 116) exclaims the effects of not allowing children play time to learn is shortening the childhood period. What is needed is the exact opposite of what it currently trending.

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