Family Health Social Work Practice: A Macro Level Approach

Family Health Social Work Practice: A Macro Level Approach

Family Health Social Work Practice: A Macro Level Approach

Family Health Social Work Practice: A Macro Level Approach

Synopsis

Offers strategies for assessing and treating families from a macro level, family health perspective. Contributors place particular emphasis on the ecological context of family health, including the neighborhood, community, and other larger social systems--all critical systems affecting family functioning.

Excerpt

John T. Pardeck

The social work profession has a long tradition of focusing on the role that the family system plays in the overall social functioning of individuals. The impact of the family system on individual well-being has also been recognized in psychiatry and psychology. Furthermore, these two fields of practice have conducted in-depth research on the topic of family; this literature has served as the empirical grounding for family health assessment and intervention in the field of social work (Thompson & Pardeck, 2000).

Campbell (1986) conducted the first in-depth review of the literature on family health in the field of psychiatry. His review of the literature included over 200 articles; Campbell reported that much of the research on family health is based on social epidemiological data. Campbell's review of the literature discovered evidence for the role of the family system in the development of asthma and diabetes in family members. Evidence was also found for an association between marital status and overall mortality rates and cardiovascular disease. Some support was discovered for the role of “psychosomatic families” in influencing physical illnesses. A strong correlation was found in the literature between family support and compliance with medical regimes. Campbell reported that systems theory was the dominant paradigm in the family health research literature; much of this literature focused on mental health problems. Lastly, Campbell reviewed a very large body of research literature focusing on the impact of the family system on alcohol and chemical dependency.

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