Human behavior in the social environment provides knowledge and understanding, and its application to practice issues, of human development and social functioning at the individual, small group, and community/ organizational/ societal levels.
Through the use of both theory and research findings, students explore the complex inter relatedness of individuals and the various systems that comprise their social environment.
Particular emphasis is placed on understanding how race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and social-economic factors contribute to and influence personal development and the social functioning of individuals and family systems.
The specific life-course focus is on normal development from neonatal through childhood. The course uses an ecological perspective to present development and social functioning in the context of mutually interacting influences from the biological, psychological, and social-cultural realms.
Holistic general systems concepts and principles provide a foundation for understanding the characteristics of all systems, and the unique possibilities for the many variations in experience that make for diversity among people. Selected concepts and theories relevant to understanding behaviors and change at each system level person, family, group, organizations. and communities are examined.
The purpose and focus of social work practice is presented through the function of bio-psycho social assessment, forming the application component of the course. The course provides examples of assessment tools for individual, family, and small group life space analysis.