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: Steph

Community Intervention Presentation

Community Intervention


I took 10 minutes the other day, in complete silence, to myself…and it was amazing. I am actually quite interested in mindfulness practices and try to implement them into my life as often as possible, but life often gets in the way. Over time, I have become quite practiced as meditative breathing, body scanning, and relaxation. The most recent experience, of a few day ago, reminded me of the importance of taking those 10 minutes to dissolve the stress of daily life, and reminded me that I should allow myself those 10 minutes more often.

The previously mentioned exercise is very closely related to one of the most important points I am taking from this class: self-care. Stress is an ugly and destructive monster that can lead to a variety of mental and physical health concerns. But more importantly, it diminishes one’s quality of life. With that said, whether it be meditation, exercise, or bungee jumping, it is critical for people to allow themselves time to enjoy life. Self-care is particularly important for people in helping professions, as we tend to experience burnout a little more frequently, and a little more quickly than most other professions.

The second lesson I will take with me from this class is the importance of understanding where people are at in their life cycle, and how critically that impacts their current state. Going forward, remembering to pay attention to where my clients are at in life, and what they may have already been through, will be extremely useful in providing the best quality of care.


I made 2 peer-recommended changes to my webpage. The first was adding my CV as a link in order to provide some background for my professional experience. Second, I added more to my About Me section, again, to provide more information about my experience in social work. It was also recommended to me to increase the font size, but I was unable to do so, as I had chosen a theme, which could not be edited.
Stress can have significant effects on both physical and mental health. As is noted in the text, stress can increase risk of developing several health conditions, affect changes in hormones, and impair one’s immune system. For example, the text informs that stress can increase the likelihood of the manifestation of health conditions that a person is already at risk for developing. Additionally, stress causes fluctuation in hormones such as cortisol, which can lead to impairments in the immune system.


An example of dualism in my life would be my unquestioning adherence to the idea that I had to do well in school. Regardless of how others performed, my success was expected. It was probably not until high school that I reached a level of multiplicity that allowed me to realize that not everyone held the same expectations for themselves. Sadly, relativism did not fully take shape until my 20s! It was then that I was able to understand that, though others may hold different beliefs, neither their beliefs or mine were “better.” For example, while working at the Social Security office a couple of years ago, I was exposed to fa culture that, before, I had only been able to form an opinion of through stereotypes and the experience of others. However, through this exposure, I was able to form my own, more informed understanding.

The first “marker event” that I could think of that could have a significant impact on young people as they move into the multiplicity stages is their first significant relationship. While there are certainly different ways to engage in relationships, there is hardly a “correct way,” and teens will be bombarded with various teachings claiming to be the best way, but will soon learn that it is something they will have to figure out for themselves. The second event would be the transition from high school to college, where they will face many situations that will make them question the “correctness” of their own belief systems. While they may have similar encounters during their teen years, college will expose them to a far wider variation of opinions and belief systems.


I reviewed Michael L.’s website and think it looks really great! In fact, I really only had 2 suggestions for him: to reduce his About Me page to include a summary of his credentials and experience, as many employers will not be interested to read a lengthy biography; and to include some type of visual to his home page to create some dimension and interest. Otherwise, I thought his website was really professional!

One of the more interesting points made in the text is the importance of finding balance the use of understanding and authority when parenting an adolescent. Based on my own experience, this could not be more true. My adolescent experience included inconsistent parenting methods between my dad and his second wife and a lot of figuring things out on my own. Fortunately, I did okay for myself as far as developing a pretty solid moral compass, compassion for others, and a drive that has gotten me through a lot of things, but the lack of consistency led to a number of questionable decisions and learning the hard way. The one thing parents did agree on was the importance of an education, and school is where I exceled. My drive to do well in school and my discomfort with disappointing my parents, inspired me to focus more on school than socializing, which the text encourages as a goal of parenting. A characteristic I still possess today, though I am much better at balancing school and my social life.

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