Latest News and Articles

Think Your Aging Parents Are Stubborn? Blame ‘Mismatched Goals’

Posted on

Researchers are learning more about the causes of what may seem intransigent behavior. There’s no easy fix.


Short-Term Psychological Interventions on Economically Disadvantaged Families: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Posted on

Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
Purpose:To examine the effects of short-term psychological interventions on reducing family stress of economically disadvantaged families.Method:Systematic review and meta-analytic procedures were used to synthesize the results of randomized controlled studies published between 1980 and 2018.Results:The search yielded 8 studies that included results for 1,538 families in total. The risk of bias varied across studies. The meta-analysis results suggest a small positive effect (g = .38, p < .001) on child behavioral problems. Heterogeneity was relatively high and significant. We also found small to moderate effects on parenting stress, parental depression, and parenting quality (g ranging from .30 to .51).Discussion:The findings of this review suggest that short-term psychological interventions may reduce the family stress of economically disadvantaged families, with effect sizes that are comparable to those of interventions delivered to ordinary families. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.


Recipe of Life: A Relational Narrative Approach in Therapy With Persons Living With Chronic Pain

Posted on

Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
Objective:This study aims to describe the effectiveness of applying an overarching narrative metaphor, the “spiritual seasoning of life,” among 30 older adults diagnosed with chronic pain in Hong Kong.Method:Using a qualitative inquiry approach, interviews of participants from group-based narrative therapy (NT) interventions were conducted. Thematic analysis was performed on their responses to during group sessions.Results:The practice was effective in helping the participants to (1) deconstruct their problem-saturated stories; (2) unearth their inner strengths, core values, and perceived knowledge; (3) co-construct their preferred life stories and identities; and (4) document how these participants reclaimed their meaning of life after living with chronic pain.Conclusion:Narrative conversations using such metaphors are useful to reconnect them with different relationships, their significant others, and the society as a whole and have practical implications for promoting the quality of life of people living with chronic pain in the context of recovery.


Implementation Issues in Functional Family Therapy: A Narrative Analysis of the Evidence

Posted on

Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
This analysis of functional family therapy (FFT) studies examines whether their variable outcomes are attributable to implementation issues. Studies were identified firstly, by way of a recent overview, supplemented by an update of a highly sensitive search including 15 databases, 10 websites, all existing relevant reviews, gray literature as well as contacting experts in the field. Updated searches were conducted in August 2018 and were analyzed according to the Oxford Implementation Index and an assessment of supervision quality. In total, the search yielded 150 records; 48 full texts were retrieved of which 32 were excluded leaving 16 studies containing 5,320 unique participants included for analysis. There was no evidence of reported harm. Improved training and supervision were associated with better core outcomes. Although there was no apparent dose relationship, it appears that implementation issues are important and also that class and ethnicity were identified for areas of further study.


Art and the Social Work Profession: Shall Ever the Twain Meet?

Posted on

Research on Social Work Practice, Volume 29, Issue 6, Page 687-692, September 2019.
Despite evidence of widespread increasing interest in the arts as mechanisms for personal and social change, social work is conspicuous for its lack of organized conceptual attention to this area. This article argues that there are four potential perspectives that might be adopted as a means of expanding social work science and professional practice: the arts as adjunct to clinical treatment and healing, the arts as the “work” in social work, the arts as tool for social investment, and the arts as driver of political and ideological commitment. An argument is presented for a new vision of the profession in academic environments in which the arts are defined as one of the fundamental pillars. This might lead to reimagining of scholarship, the reconstruction of social work education, and acceleration of social reform.