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: Birth and Beyond

BP 12 mindfulness

I have been working on my meditation practice since late August.  I started it in preparation for the upcoming semester.  I do yoga on a fairly regular basis and am familiar with the benefits of meditation.  I started out with just 5 minutes and I am still working on making it a full 10.  It seems the only time I can make it 10 minutes is after a good yoga workout.  My body is probably prepared to settle down at that point.  I know that it makes a difference in how I perceive the world around me and the day to day stressors that I encounter.  I have taught and shared this experience with my son who is a senior and he even shares video posts and information on this with me.  We both feel it makes a difference in how positive we are able to be and feel it helps us in setting goals.  I will continue to work towards this practice.  I read somewhere that we should teach all 3rd graders how to meditate and that we would be impressed with the individuals they become.  I would love to see this happen.


I am going to take away the epigenetics portion of this text to relate it to the trauma experienced by my children I work with.  I will also be taking away the functions of the brain and how different environmental stressors affect brain development and processes.  This is imperative in understanding the behaviors of children who have experienced trauma and/or have a disability of some type,  It gives me a broader perspective when working with them and allows me to educate others who come into contact with them also.  Also the life span developmental milestones have been very helpful.  I had this in my bachelors degree but now I am able to apply it to my everyday situations and view behaviors from that perspective.  It helps to let direct care providers and parents foster or biological know that what they are seeing is “ok” or “may need addressed”.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and learned a great deal that I will continue to improve upon as I move forward in my degree.

BP 11

  1.  I changed the name on the front of my posts where it says about and the only suggestion I recalled was to add a page for more content on my blog.  I did add a page that I could start placing professional accolades on, such as resume experience, committees etc.  I felt these would be very helpful in the future if I were to use this blog for a professional reason
  2. The connection between the mind and body is a reciprocal relationship.  If the mind experiences stress the body reacts by going into a flight or fight reaction increasing cortisol levels and causing undue stress on the heart and other bodily functions.  Chronic stress can immobilize the body  and cause immune deficiency making the person more susceptible to illness and disease.  Subjective stress is how we view our own well being and when we focus on material things to make us happy we label that hedonic.  When we reach a certain amount of wealth and this does not make us feel happy then it may push us into depression due to the lack of results that we were expecting to get. Wolfe and Fodor (1996) are cited in our book regarding this phenomenon.   Psychological well being comes from our ability to feel competent and interact with our world in satisfying and positive ways.  Social relationships and relatedness contribute ot the overall feeling of well being and psychological wellness and is characterized by having a sense of purpose in life (Diener and Seligman, 2002)..  The book discusses how economically poor individuals report to be unhappier than wealthier individuals, however there is a point of wealth where the happiness barometer no longer has any correlation and many factors contribute after that to our sense of well being both physically and psychologically.

BP 10 Young Adulthood




When I began college I was very much a rule follower and was in the strict Dualism mode that Perry (1970/1990) discusses.  There was a clear right and wrong.  I obeyed my parents and even more so my grandparents.  I set up a very structured schedule for myself and moved forward.  Then Multiplicity came.

Multiplicity was a theme for me the entire time in college.  As the book discussed in early multiplicity that a person realizes that life is not fair and that you may do everything that you should and a person may still not get the result they wanted.  This happened to me time and again in college to a point where I thought I was just not cut out to go to college.  It seemed that every time I turned around there was a barrier.  These barriers consisted of taking the classes my advisor told me to only to find out that they were the wrong classes.  At one point in my college career I had to change colleges just to get the classes I needed int hat semester due to going to class the first day and 3 of them were cancelled due to lack of instructor.  During this two years I questioned everything I was doing.  I reevaluated the “just world” (learner, 1980) I was living in and came close to giving up.  However, I did not.  I persevered and received my degree and am certainly better off for it.

By the end of my college years I had been in several social service positions and learned a lot about how the systems work and could distinguish between competent case workers and non competent.   I could relate my experiences and knowledge and felt like I had reached what the book refers to as Contextual Relativism.

Markers that assist in making and shaping someones philosophy of thinking can include big life events where the individual has either a negative or positive repression to the event.  Talking with people that they have close relationships with





BP9 Peer Review

I reviewed my peer’s blog and would like to make a few suggestions.  The layout of her blog was very easy to view and I like the format.  We both have found it challenging to figure out the blog and how to add content.  The font on the blog was blue on a green background and it was difficult to read.  I suggest that she change the font color or background to make it easier on the eyes to read.  Her picture was pleasing and the titles to her blogs were very helpful for searching topics.  My second suggestion would be to add more pages for a resume and professional activities that would showcase her skills and abilities and interests.  My third suggestion would be to add links to information for her readers if they would like to expand their knowledge.

One  positive aspect of my adolescence was my peer formation later in highschool.  I became part of a Pom Pon group that was comprised of girls who were high achievers and valued their academic performance.  Prior to this I had gone through the transition from a very small school to a large city school in 7th grade and became involved in poor peer groups and


Birth and Beyond 2016-10-22 16:05:02


BP 8 Contribution of learning in class

The discussion and exercise we had in class regarding what can we change as an individual to make this experience more effective and what I am willing to contribute to the class as a whole is a mindful prospect.  I am willing to concentrate on making my responses more articulate.  I have always taken this very seriously and since I work in this field I respect the content that I am learning and the ideas and experience that my professors and class mates offer in class.   I will continue to prepare for class and I would like to try and read the entire chapter earlier in the week so that I can review it on Wednesday instead of finishing it on Wednesday.  I will also commit to looking at the blog posts in a broader application format as opposed to a test question that may be right or wrong.  I will work on switching gears in my head on my way to class  so that I can be better prepared to hear and process the information that I will be receiving.  I will say that this exercise over all has motivated me more than any test or quiz I might take in any class.




Gender messages that were prevalent in my culture growing up included the premise that girls were to be polite and agreeable in all social situations and were not allowed to disagree or argue out loud.  At the same time boys were allowed to joke, be rough, argue and get loud in social situations and were considered “men” and maturing or just defending their positions and becoming part of the group. ___________discuss this in their review in which aggression differed for males and females stating that females would be inwardly aggressive in their peer groups through talking behind other girl’s backs or spreading rumors.  The boys would become aggressive and want to fight or challenge each other physically or verbally.

On the other side of this coin both sexes were required to follow the social norms of manners and politeness.  Both the boys and the girls in my family were required to attend a “manners” school in order to learn appropriate behavior in social settings.  It did not matter that you were a boy or a girl, you were expected to behave appropriately regarding niceties, manners, and social reciprocal discussions on the rare occasion you attended a formal event.

There were many more exclusive gender expectations than not in my family although education was considered acceptable for both sexes.

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