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: Cheryl Cupps

Blog Post 12 – Last One for Fall 2016 –

The mindfulness practice homework assignment was meaningful – it showed me how to open my mind and respond appropriately and effectively with client and even family members. The exercise also showed me how to relate to clients by being aware of my own attitudes and knowing how to remain unbiased.

Two things I took away from this class:

This was one of my first social work classes, so this is all fairly new to me. I enjoyed learning about epigenetics – it really helped explain why I am the way I am in regards to how my childhood was and how I was raised. It also explains a great deal about why my son is the way he is (which is great), I think everyone who is considering having children should take this class.

Most of what we learned this semester is very relatable to real life – which makes it a little easier to learn and to relate it to myself, family members and clients.

I also learned that there is a lot that I don’t know about social work – so I have a lot more to learn! But, I am sure that I made the right decision about returning to school to earn an MSW. I am looking forward to next semester.

BP 11 – Website Changes and Stress

After the peer review of our websites, I added pages, or at least I added the tabs for additional pages. I added a tab for a resume page and a tab to link to the Department of Mental Health. I also changed the colors of some of my headlines/text so that it was easier to read. Both of these things were at the suggestion of my peer. I will go back and add my actual resume, I just need to update it first.

There is a strong relationship between stress and physical health and mental health. In the past twelve months, I have sold a house, bought a house, started a new, stressful job, started working on my second master’s degree AND I recently turned fifty years old. And to top it off, my one and only child is a senior in high school.

I started feeling very stressed, grinding my teeth, chewing my fingernails, gaining weight and I turned 50 years old!!!- I honestly thought I was having a breakdown…I ended up going to see a psychologist and it turns out that I have anxiety! With a little medication and some coping techniques — I’m feeling much more normal and I am able to sleep… hopefully I am becoming more resilient over the past few weeks (Blewitt & Broderick, 2015, pg 537).

My daily stressors were definitely mobilizing my body’s energy resources and my immune system weakened, causing me to suffer from headaches and colds more frequently than normal (Blewitt & Broderick, 2015, pg 541). This is an example of immunosuppression (Blewitt & Broderick, 2015, pg 542).

My son being a senior is giving me a sense of loss because I know he will be leaving home soon and going to college – I could compare this to the conservation of resources (COR) theory – even though my son leaving for college will have a positive outcome, it still feels me with a sense of loss (Blewitt & Broderick, 2015, pg 543).

BP 10 – Chp 11 Examples of points in my life…

One of example of my own thinking at one or more points in my life:

Dualism – When I still lived at home in my late teens, my parents were very strict and I never questioned what they told me. That’s why I became a little rebellious when I left home for college – I wasn’t used to having no one around to tell me what to do.

Multiplicity – I experienced this when I went off to college – I went to a small junior college in a small Texas town. I was surprised at how many people my age were at different stages in their lives, even though we were the same age. Some were already married, some had children out of wedlock, some were working already. However, we were all there to learn.

Relativism – I experienced this when I finally graduated from college – I was already married (we eloped when I was 20 years old), but I went back to college while my husband was deployed to the Persian Gulf. Earning my degree after I dropped out of college to get married was a big intellectual achievement for me.

Two marker events that could help a young adult to develop into their current thinking:
1. Vocational activity – working at their first job, earning their own money.
2. Earning their driver’s license – this gives a young adult newfound freedom.

Blewitt, P. Broderick, C., The Life Span, Fourth Edition, 2015. Chapter 11, pgs 422 – 423.

Blog Post 9 – Peer Review and Influences of adolescent development

Darla’s website just needs a little tweaking…
My suggestions are to add more links to other websites, like OU and the School of Social Work. Also, more pages should be added for Resume, etc. And, lastly, placement of the menu – I like it on the side.

My adolescent development:

Negative Influence: A negative influence on my adolescence was the move that our family made from Houston to Dallas when I was 14. We had lived in the Houston area my entire life and I had grown up with my friends and their parents. Moving to a larger school where I did not know anybody caused me to have become shy and it was hard for me to make new friends. I had gone from a village to

Positive Influence: One positive influence was my involvement in sports – I was actually a very good swimmer all through my childhood and into my teens. This enable me to

BP – Reflection & Assessment

I feel that the information we are learning in this class is extremely important and very interesting. I wish I would have taken this class before my son was born!  From this point forward, I will try to take the time to read the chapters more thoroughly and start taking better notes as I read.  I really want to know and understand this material, however, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to read. I do pay attention to the class presentations and the reviews – I’m not a big fan of the class presentations, but I really like the reviews.  I agree with most of the points everyone wrote on the board today during our class self assessment. My goal is to spend more time reading and reviewing the chapters and to continuously review the chapters that we have already covered so that I’m not trying to study eight chapters all at once for the semester exam.

Blog Post 7 – Gender Specific Messages

As a woman who identifies as being a female, my personal gender/cultural messages are pretty clear –

Two messages that are restrictive include:

  1. Female means female. There are no gray areas. You can only be one or the other.
  2. Females are expected to take care of the home and children and expected to be feminine.

Two messages that inspire inclusivity:

  1. Women are able to give birth to children.
  2. Females are allowed to exhibit some tomboyism; playing with boys and preferring boys activities and toys, while still being feminine.


Even within the group of women, each culture can be different – for example African American mother convey a less traditional stereotyped attitude towards their children and families, and Latino women convey a much more traditional type attitude.



BP6 Visual Electronic Media

Positive and Negative outcomes that come from visual electronic media used in childhood:


Positive:  Sometimes kids that are difficult to sooth calm down while watching television.

Children can use visual media to become computer literate – children who use the Internet more have been found to have higher

GPA’s according to a study listed in our textbook.

Negative: After watching a violent program, a child may suffer from short-term attentional problems.

Exposure to visual media might keep the child from learning and enjoying more challenging entertainment, like reading.

If I was working with a parent who needed guidance  on the screen use for children I would share with them health facts about children who spend too much time watching TV may suffer from obesity and other health related issues. I would encourage the parent to watch television with the child and discuss with the child what he/she was watching. Most of all, I would encourage the parent to spend time with their child talking and interacting — I would share with the parent the positive effects of playing outside or playing sports. I would also encourage the parent to limit the child’s television/computer time starting at an early age so the child becomes accustomed to set viewing times and learns that they should not spend all their time watching television. I would also give the parent a list of websites to look at for more information.


BP5 – Four Parenting Styles

Examining the 4 parenting styles as highlighted in the chapter, name one character from today’s pop culture/society that depicts a specific parenting style and describe/cite 4 identifying characteristics as referenced in the text to support you selection.

There are four basic parenting styles: the authoritative style, the authoritarian style, the permissive style and the neglecting-uninvolved style.

A character from today’s society that comes to mind is the teenage boy from Texas that killed four people while driving intoxicated. At the trial, the teen’s defense was that he suffered from affluenza, or “rich kid syndrome.”

In my opinion, the type of parenting style that the parents of the teen practiced was the permissive style.  The teens parents were highly responsive to him, but demanded very little of him. The outcome of this parenting style in this case was a kid who was given everything he wanted and had no regard for the consequences of his actions, or any other people his actions effected.


How might the effectiveness of caregiving behaviors be different for children with each temperament (name and address 3 traits specifically)? How would that affect the level of attachment between caregiver/parents and child?

Infants are born with traits — while some traits make caregiving pleasant, other traits can make caregiving extremely difficult. One trait that might make caregiving hard is activity level.

Activity level includes the frequency and speed of an infants movements.  Infants with a high level of activity can considered difficult babies, which may make parenting very challenging since difficult babies might be considered more fearful and easily agitated. Another trait that could categorize an infant into the difficult baby category is the distractibility trait.

Infants known to have the distractibility trait are easily distracted by new stimuli. This short attention span may make it hard for caregivers to connect with or teach an infant. However, not all traits create difficult babies.

The threshold trait measures a stimuli’s minimum strength that is required before a child reacts.


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