Theoretical Perspectives in Applying Models

This week, you will move from applying theories and theoretical perspectives to considering and applying models. Watch this video for a brief overview of the difference between the two:

Week 8 Introduction

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.

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Some practitioners and scholars employ the terms “theory” and “model” interchangeably, so remember that a model provides the steps, procedures, or techniques to solve the problem or to set the change in motion. This week, you will look at two social work models: the life model and the problem-solving model.

Learning Objectives
Students will:
Apply the life model and problem-solving model to social work practice
Evaluate the merits and limitations of the life model and problem-solving model to social work practice

Learning Resources
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings
Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 18: Life Model and Social Work Practice (pp. 287–301)
Chapter 24: Problem-Solving and Social Work (pp. 387–397)
Piedra, L. M., & Engstrom, D. W. (2009). Segmented assimilation theory and the life model: An integrated approach to understanding immigrants and their children. Social Work, 54(3), 270–277. http://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/sw/54.3.270

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Westefeld, J. S., & Heckman-Stone, C. (2003). The integrated problem-solving model of crisis intervention: overview and application. The Counseling Psychologist, 31(2), 221–239. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1177/0011000002250638

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Optional Resources
D’Zurilla, T. J., & Goldfried, M. R. (1971). Problem solving and behavior modification. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 78(1), 107–126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0031360
Discussion: Gaps in the Life Model
Piedra and Engstrom (2009) noted how the life model “remains general and unspecific regarding factors that affect immigrant families” (p. 272). Recall that there will never be one theory or a model that can fully explain a phenomenon or lay out all the steps and procedures when working with complex issues that clients present to social workers. Recognizing this, Piedra and Engstrom selected another theory in the immigration literature—segmented assimilation theory. They identified concepts from segmented assimilation theory to “fill in” the gaps that the life model does not address.

In this Discussion, you examine gaps in the life model by applying it to your field experience.

To prepare:

Review the life model.
Review this article in the Learning Resources: Piedra, L. M., & Engstrom, D. W. (2009). Segmented assimilation theory and the life model: An integrated approach to understanding immigrants and their children. Social Work, 54(3), 270–277. http://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/sw/54.3.270
By Day 3
Post:

Using an example from your fieldwork experience and a diverse population you encountered at the agency (for example, in Piedra and Engstrom’s article, it was immigrant families), respond to the following:

Identify and describe the diverse population and the unique characteristics and/or the distinctive needs of the population in 3 to 4 brief sentences.
Explain how the life model can be applied for the population.
Explain where the gaps are in applying the life model for this population.
When looking at the gaps, explain which theory might be helpful in filling the gaps of the life model when working with this population.

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