SW 3620 Social Work Practice Methods II

                                                  Guide for Family Research Paper


A.        Focus:  Your research should be directed toward discovering what kinds of knowledge and sensitivity are required to work more effectively with African-American families.  You will need to identify significant variables, patterns, and issues which impact African-American families and contribute to their distinctiveness and the kinds of difficulties they may encounter.  Misconceptions about the nature and quality of family life among African-Americans are pervasive and deeply entrenched in American popular thought.  Although African-American families have received far less systematic study than white families, they are the subject of even more sweeping generalizations (Taylor, 1994).


The United States is a mosaic of family patterns created by a history of incorporating diverse racial and ethnic groups that came to this country at different periods and under vastly different social and economic conditions.  These groups differ on a number of important attributes, including cultural histories, socioeconomic characteristics, kinship structure, intergenerational relationships, and patterns of residence (Lieberson and Waters, 1988; Wilkerson, 1987).  Billingsley (1968) has noted that Black families as a group have shown an "amazing ability to survive in the face of impossible conditions."    In your paper, emphasize important attributes, patterns, and issues which you determine to be most useful in expanding your understanding of African-American families.


B.         Requirements:  Include an outline for your paper.   You should have a title page, followed by your outline.  Be sure to begin on your first page with an introductory paragraph regarding your subject.  You need to include transitions between main ideas you cover in your paper.  Your transitions may need to be a sentence, several sentences or a short paragraph to make sure that you move smoothly from one idea to another.  You need to have a conclusion section at the end of your paper where you summarize your findings.  Your paper should be typewritten and should be no less than 8 pages.  Errors in typing and spelling should be neatly corrected.  Sentence structure should be attended to as well as subject-verb agreement, and usage of correct verb tense.  In noting references, please use APA style.  Be sure to give credit to the author for any content you paraphrase or quote.  Direct quotes should be in quotation marks.  Long quotes should be indented in the body of your paper.  At the end of your paper, you should include a page entitled "References" where you  cite references in the order they appeared in your paper.


You will need to use at least four recent books (1990- ) although you may use older books which are relevant to the subject as well.  You need to include content from at least three recent journal articles (1990- ) and one Internet source.  In regard to an internet source I am referring to a web site, not an electronic journal article.  Your paper must include content from the following two books.  They will be placed on three day reserve.

1.  McGoldrick, M., & Giordano, J., & Pearce, J.K. (1996).  Ethnicity and family therapy (2nd ed.).  New York:  Guilford Press.


2.  Billingsley, A. (1992).  Climbing Jacob's ladder:  the enduring legacy of African-American families. New York:  Simon & Schuster.


The following books may also be useful:


Logan, S.M.L., & Freeman, E.M., & McRoy, R.G. (1990).  Social work practice with black families:  a culturally specific perspective.  New York:  Longman.


Harrison, D.F., & Thyer, B.A., & Wodarski, J.S. (1996).  Cultural diversity and social work practice.  (2nd ed.).   Springfield, Ill.:  Charles C. Thomas.


Congress, E. P. (Ed.). (1997).  Multicultural perspectives in working with families.  New York:  Springer Publishing Co.


Hildebrand, V., & Phenice, L.A., & Gray, M. M., & Hines, R.P. (1996).  Knowing and serving diverse families.  Englewood Cliffs, N. J.:  Merrill.


Boyd-Franklin, N. (1989).  Black families in therapy.  New York:  The Guilford Press.


McGoldrick, M. (Ed.). (1998).  Re-visioning family therapy. New York:  The Guilford Press.


  Due:      November 1, 2001

(late papers will have 5 points deducted)


Please feel free to talk with me about ideas for your paper as well as sources of information.  I also invite you to share a rough draft with me, particularly if you are concerned about content and style.