Social Policy

Navigating Dangerous Streets: The Sources and Consequences of Street Efficacy

Navigating Dangerous Streets: The Sources and Consequences of Street Efficacy
American Sociological Review, Oct 2006, Vol. 71 Issue 5, p826-846, 21p.

Sharkey, P.
10/01/2006

The concept of street efficacy, defined as the perceived ability to avoid violent confrontations and to be safe in one's neighborhood, is proposed as a mechanism connecting aspects of adolescents' "imposed" environments to the choices they make in creating their own "selected" environments that minimize the potential for violent confrontations. Empirical models using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods suggest that street efficacy is substantially influenced by various aspects of the social context surrounding adolescents. Adolescents who live in neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage and low collective efficacy, respectively, are found to have less confidence in their ability to avoid violence after controlling for an extensive set of individual- and family-level factors. Exposure to violence also reduces street efficacy, although it does not explain the association between collective efficacy and individual street efficacy. Adolescents' confidence in their ability to avoid violence is shown to be an important predictor of the types of environments they select for themselves. In particular, adolescents with high levels of street efficacy are less likely to resort to violence themselves or to associate with delinquent peers.

Better but Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the United States Since 1950

Better but Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the United States Since 1950
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.

Richard G. Frank and Sherry A. Glied
08/02/2006

The past half-century has been marked by major changes in the treatment of mental illness: important advances in understanding mental illnesses, increases in spending on mental health care and support of people with mental illnesses, and the availability of new medications that are easier for the patient to tolerate. Although these changes have made things better for those who have mental illness, they are not quite enough.

In Better But Not Well, Richard G. Frank and Sherry A. Glied examine the well-being of people with mental illness in the United States over the past fifty years, addressing issues such as economics, treatment, standards of living, rights, and stigma. Marshaling a range of new empirical evidence, they first argue that people with mental illness—severe and persistent disorders as well as less serious mental health conditions—are faring better today than in the past. Improvements have come about for unheralded and unexpected reasons. Rather than being a result of more effective mental health treatments, progress has come from the growth of private health insurance and of mainstream social programs—such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, housing vouchers, and food stamps—and the development of new treatments that are easier for patients to tolerate and for physicians to manage.

The authors remind us that, despite the progress that has been made, this disadvantaged group remains worse off than most others in society. The "mainstreaming" of persons with mental illness has left a policy void, where governmental institutions responsible for meeting the needs of mental health patients lack resources and programmatic authority. To fill this void, Frank and Glied suggest that institutional resources be applied systematically and routinely to examine and address how federal and state programs affect the well-being of people with mental illness.

Power Plays

Power Plays
Negotiation, Jul 2006, p1-4, 4p.

Galinsky, A.D.
07/01/2006

The article presents information on the role of power in negotiation. Power could generate competition or conflict in negotiations, however, effective channelization of power helps in bringing the win-win situation to both the parties. Social psychologists have described power as lack of dependence on others. Individuals possessing power tend to have the approach related to the behavior that includes positive mood or searching for rewards in their environment. On the other hand, powerless individuals show a great deal of self-inhibition and fear towards potential threats. INSETS: WOMEN: INCREASE YOUR POWER AT THE TABLE;POWER ACROSS CULTURES.

Disaster Forensics: Leveraging Crisis Information Systems for Social Science

Disaster Forensics: Leveraging Crisis Information Systems for Social Science
Proceedings of the Third International ISCRAM Conference edited by R Van De Walle and M Turroff. Newark Institute of Technology, May

Moss, M. & Townsend, A.
05/01/2006

This paper contributes to the literature on information systems in crisis management by providing an overview of
emerging technologies for sensing and recording sociological data about disasters. These technologies are transforming our capacity to gather data about what happens during disasters, and our ability to reconstruct the social dynamics of affected communities. Our approach takes a broad review of disaster research literature, current research efforts and new reports from recent disasters, especially Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami. We forecast that sensor networks will revolutionize conceptual and empirical approaches to research in the social sciences, by providing unprecedented volumes of high-quality data on movements, communication and response activities by both formal and informal actors. We conclude with a set of recommendations to designers of crisis management information systems to design systems that can support social science research, and argue for the inclusion of post-disaster social research as a design consideration in such systems.

Growing Older in World Cities: New York, Paris, London and Tokyo

Growing Older in World Cities: New York, Paris, London and Tokyo
Edited with Michael Gusmano. Nashville Tn: Vanderbuilt University Press,

Rodwin, V.G.
02/01/2006

Population aging often provokes fears of impending social security deficits, uncontrollable medical expenditures, and transformations in living arrangements, but public policy could also stimulate social innovations. These issues are typically studied at the national level; yet they must be resolved where most people live—in diverse neighborhoods in cities. New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo are the four largest cities among the wealthiest, most developed nations of the world. The essays commissioned for this volume compare what it is like to grow older in these cities with respect to health care, quality of life, housing, and long-term care. The contributors look beyond aggregate national data to highlight the importance of how local authorities implement policies.

Training Psychiatrists for Public Sector Care: A Survey of Residency Directors on Current Priorities and Preparation

Training Psychiatrists for Public Sector Care: A Survey of Residency Directors on Current Priorities and Preparation
Psychiatric Services. 57:238-243, February

Yedidia, M.J., Gillespie, C.C. & Berstein, C.A.
02/01/2006

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed how resident psychiatrists are being prepared to deliver effective public-sector care.

METHODS: Ten leaders in psychiatric education and practice were interviewed about which tasks they consider to be essential for effective public-sector care. The leaders identified 16 tasks. Directors of all general psychiatry residency programs in the United States were then surveyed to determine how they rate the importance of these tasks for delivery of care and how their training program prepares residents to perform each task.

RESULTS: A total of 114 of 150 residency directors (76 percent) responded to the survey. Factor analysis divided 14 of the tasks into three categories characterized by the extent to which their performance requires integration of services: within the mental health system (for example, lead a multidisciplinary team), across social service systems (for example, interact with staff of supportive housing programs), and across institutions with different missions (for example, distinguish behavioral problems from underlying psychiatric disorders among prisoners). Preparation for tasks that involved integration of services across institutions was rated as least important, was least likely to be required, and was covered by less intensive teaching modalities. Tasks entailing integration within the mental health system were rated as most important, preparation was most likely to be required, and they were covered most intensively. Midway between these two categories, but significantly different from each, were tasks relying on integration across social service systems.

CONCLUSIONS: Tasks that involved integrating services across institutions with different missions were consistently downplayed in training. Yet the importance of such tasks is underscored by the assessments of the psychiatric leaders who were interviewed, the high valuation placed on this type of integration by a substantial subset of training directors, and the extent of mental illness among populations who are institutionalized in nonpsychiatric settings.

Neighborhoods and Schools: Contexts and Consequences for the Mental Health and Risk Behaviors of Children and Youth

Neighborhoods and Schools: Contexts and Consequences for the Mental Health and Risk Behaviors of Children and Youth
In L. Balter and C. Tamis-LeMonda (Eds.), Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues (2nd ed.)

Gershoff, E.T. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/2006

This second edition of Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues reflects the increasingly sophisticated and varied research methods used to examine the highly complex interactions contributing to children's cognitive, emotional, and social development. Those chapters that appeared in the previous edition have been thoroughly updated and new chapters by outstanding researchers have been introduced. In addition, there is an entirely new section on Adolescence and thorough coverage of salient Ecological Influences, which make this second edition a truly comprehensive resource on the important issues in child psychology. The volume is divided into five sections - Infancy, Preschool Years, Childhood, Adolescence, and Ecological Influences - which: * Describe the nature of development and individual variations in developmental trajectories across multiple domains * Identify the processes and mechanisms underlying developmental and contextual change * Explore the varied contexts in which development unfolds, including family, school, neighborhood, and culture * Apply cutting-edge research designs, methodologies, and analytic approaches to models of development The volume provides an invaluable and practical resource for students and instructors on a wide variety of courses, and for researchers and professionals working in the field of child development.

Toward a More Public Discussion of the Ethics of Federal Social Program Evaluation

Toward a More Public Discussion of the Ethics of Federal Social Program Evaluation
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp 824-852.

Blustein, J.
10/01/2005

Federal social program evaluation has blossomed over the past quarter century. Despite this growth, there has been little accompanying public debate on research ethics. This essay explores the origins and the implications of this relative silence on ethical matters. It reviews the federal regulations that generally govern research ethics, and recounts the history whereby the evaluation of federal programs was specifically exempted from the purview of those regulations. Through a discussion of a recent evaluation that raised ethical concerns, the essay poses - but does not answer - three questions: (1) Are there good reasons to hold federal social program evaluations to different standards than those that apply to other research?; (2) If so, what ethical standards should be used to access such evaluations?; and (3) Should a formal mechanism be developed to ensure that federal social program evaluations are conducted ethically?

Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research

Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research
Eye on Education: Larchmont, NY,

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R., Schwartz, A.E. & Zabel, J., eds.
05/30/2005

School performance and efficiency measurement have taken center stage in much of the debate and research in education policy since at least the mid-1990s. Despite the clear theoretical and practical importance of understanding the ways in which school performance can be measured, only limited research exists on alternative ways to measure how well schools are educating their students, delivering what parents want, and using resources efficiently. In this volume, the authors of eight chapters address the measurement of school performance, an issue that lies in between the study of technical characteristics of student assessments, on the one hand, and the effectiveness of accountability systems that use those assessments, on the other. Although psychometricians focus on the reliability, validity, and fairness of individual student assessments, and social scientists address whether state and local accountability systems that use those student assessments are effective ways to influence school performance, the authors of this volume consider the pros and cons of alternative measurements of school performance and efficiency, per se.

Network Systems Revisited: The Confounding Nature of Universal Systems

Network Systems Revisited: The Confounding Nature of Universal Systems
In O. Coutard, R. Hanley, and R. Zimmerman, eds. Sustaining Urban Networks: The Social Diffusion of Large Technical Systems. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 1-12. ISBN 0415324580 (HB); ISBN 0415324599 (PB).

Coutard, O., Hanley, R.E. & Zimmerman, R.
01/01/2005

Taking sustainability in its triple economic, environmental and social dimensions, the contributors take stock of previous research on large technical systems and discuss their sustainability from three main perspectives: uses, cities, rules/institutions.

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