1 34 CHAPTER12 CHAPTERT heoreticalPerspectiveson HumanBehaviorEli za beth D. Hu tchisonand Leanne WoodChar lesworth34 Key IdeasCaseStudy:IntergenerationalSt ressesin th e McKinleyFamilyMu ltiplePerspectivesfor a MultidimensionalApproachSystemsPerspecti veConflictPerspectiveRati ona l Choi ce PerspectiveSoci al ConstructionistPerspectivePsy ch odynamicPerspectiveDeve lopmentalPerspectiveSocialBehavioralPers pectiveHumanistic PerspectiveThe Meritsof Mult iplePersp ectivesImplicationsfor SocialWorkPracticeKey TermsActive Lear ningWeb Res ourcesCHAPTEROUTLINE35 Chapter2 The oreticalPersp ectiveson Hum an BehaviorOPENINGQUESTIONS What theories are ne ededto understandthe multipledime nsionsof pe rs on, environment, andtimeinvolvedin humanbehavior? What criteriashould socialworkersuse to eva luatetheories of humanbe ha vior?KEYIDEASAs you readthis cha pt er, tak e noteof thesece ntralidea e systemsperspectivese es humanbehavioras the outcomeof reciprocal interactionsof per -sonsoperatingwithinlin ked social e conf lic t perspectivedr aws attentionto con flict,inequalit y, dominance,and e rationalchoi ce perspectiveseeshumanbe ha vioras basedon se lf-interest and ra tionalchoices abouteff ec tive ways to e soci al constructionist pe rspectivefocuseson howpeoplelea rn , throughthe ir interactionswitheachother,to understandthe world and theirplacein it.
2 Psychodynamic perspective is concerned withhow internalprocessessuchas ne ed s, drives,and e developm en tal perspectivefocuseson how humanbe haviorun foldsac ross the life e soci al behavioral perspectivesug gest s that humanbeh avioris lea rne d as individualsinter -act wit h e humanisticperspectiveemphasiz es the individual s inherent value,freedomof ac tion,andsearchfor ho spi ce socialworkermeetsth ree generationsof McKinleyswhenshe vis its theirhomein an uppermid westerncity. She is the re becausethe fami ly has re questedho sp ice services for RuthMcKinley, the79-year-oldmotherof StanleyMcKinley. Ruth has a recu rren ce of breas t cancerthat has me tastasized to herlu ngs ; she is no longerrece iving aggressive trea tmentand her conditionis deteriorati ng. Uponenteringth e hou se,the socialworkermeets50 -year-oldStanley,his 51-year-oldwife , Marci a, an d th eir 25-year-olddaughter,Bethany,wh o takesthe social workerto a bed roomto meether gran givesRu th a ge ntle pat andintroduces the soci al smilesat Bethany an d greetsthe soc ial work er.
3 Bethanyle aves the roomtogive someprivacy to the soci al worker and her gr an dmother.(Continued)36A MUL TIDIMENSIONALAP PROACHFORMU LT IFACETEDSOCIALWO RK(Con tinued)Th e social worker spe nds about20 minuteswith Ru th and find s her weak but interestedin talk ing. Ruthsays she knowsthat she is receiving hospicecare becauseshe is dying . She says she has li ved a goodlife andis not afraidof goes on to say , however, th at thereare somethingson her min d as she thi nks abouther life. She is thinkinga lot abo ut her estr ang ed daughterwh o lives severalstatesaway , an d she doe s notwant to di e with this hardnessbe tweenus. Sh e al so is thin king a lot abou t Stanley, who is un employed,and hopingthat he ca n fi nd a sp ark in his life ag ain . Beth an y is very mu ch on her mind,as we ll. She says sheworriesthat Bethanyis sacrificingtoo mu ch of her you ng life to th e needs of the fam ily.
4 As Ruth grow s tire d,the socialworker ends the conversation,sayingth at she wou ld like to visit with Ruth ag ai n ne xt week so thatthey ca n tal k somemoreaboutRuth s life and th e th in gs that are on her min in the liv ing room, the socialworkertalks with Stanley,Mar cia, and Bethany. She lear ns that Ruth movedinto Stan ley and Marcia shome5 ye ars ago after she had a stroketh at left her with that tim e,Stanleyand Marciatook ou t a secondmor tgageon their houseto fina nce someremodelingto makethe homemore acces sible fo r Ruth,provi ding her with a bedr oo m and bat also put in a much -needednew furn ace at the sametime. Be thanyspeaksup to say that he r gr andmotheris the kindestperso n she kno ws andthat th ey were all hap py to rea rrangetheir homelife to makeRuth comf or it seem ed thenaturalth ing to do , becauseRuth had takencare of BethanywhileMar cia workedduringBethany searly Ru th cameto live with them,Stanleycontinuedto work at a print shop,and Marciachangedto the eveningshift in her job as a ar rangedhe r work and part -timecommunitycollegestudiesso thatshe couldbe availableto her gr andmotherbet weenthe time her mot her lef t for work and her fatherreturnedfromhis workday.
5 She took chargeof pre pa ring dinnerfor her dad and grandmother and gi ving Ruth a daily ba arrangementworkedwell for 4 any sp eak s fondl y of the goodtime s she and her gra ndmo therhad together as Bethanyprovideddirectca re to he r grandmother, and her gran dmother sho weredher with sto -ries of the past and took a lively interestin her li fe, ofte n givin g he r advic e abouther romantic life. Marc ia breaksin to say that life has been to ugh fo r th e past year , howe ve r, and her voic e cracksas sh e says this. She re countsthat they learnedof the recur renceof Ruth sbre ast can cer 11 mo nths ago and of the metastasis5 a fe w mont hs, Stanley,Marcia,and Bethanyjuggl ed their sche dul es to ge t Ru th to doctorvisi ts, chemother-apy treatments,and bonescans,un til Ru th an d the onc olo gis t deci ded th at it was ti me to disc ontinueaggres-sive treat ,7 mo nths ago , Stanl ey lost his job at the pri ntingcompany wh ere he had workedsin ce get tingout of the army, and he has beenunsucces sful in findingnew wor k.
6 They weresti ll man agingfinanciallywith th e help of unemploymentchec ks unti l Ma rcia took a tumble downthe st ai rs and in juredher ba ckand hip 4 mont hs ago . She had surgery, whichwas followedby complica tions,and has beenout of wor kon di sability. She is expecting to go bac k to worknext wee k. Beth any says sh e ha s wa nted to workmor eto bring moremoneyinto the home,but she has al so beennee ded at homemoreto fill in for lost one job becauseof too manyabse ncesand ha s pie ced togethertw o part-timejobs tha t giv eher a little mor e flexibility. She worri es, however, aboutha ving no hea lth insurance becauseshe needsongoingtreatmentfor says tha t Sta nley has bee n a won de rful caregiverto her and hismom,but she knowsthat the ca regi ving has inte rfe re d with his job sea rch and is wearinghim conversation to repor t tha t they havebee n unableto makemortgagepaymentsfo rthe pas t 3 mon ths , and the bankhas notif ie d him that they are at risk of fa cing foreclosure.
7 He beco mesdespo ndentas he tel ls th is. He says they havebeenin the housefor 15 yearsand had alwayspaid themor tgag e on secondmortgagefor the remodelingis addingto the LTI PLE PE RSPECTI VES FOR A MU LTIDIMENSIONALAPP ROACHT heunfol din g storyof themultigeneratio nalMcKinleyfamilymaybe familiarto youin someways,butit is alsouni quein thewaytheseparticularpersonsandenvironme a so cialworker,youneedto understandthese detailsaboutthesituationof the , if youareto be helpfulin improvi ng thesit ua -tio n, youalsoneedsomescientificknowledge thatwill assist youin thi nkingaboutits uni queele me nts . As suggestedin Chapter1, therangeof knowledgeofferedby a multitheoreticalapproachis necessary when takinga multidimen-sionalapproach to of thi s CHAPTER is to in tr oduceyouto eighttheoreticalpe rspectivesth at arepartic ularlyusefulfor thinkingaboutchanging situationsof persons andenvironments.
8 Sy stemsperspective,co nflictperspecti ve,ra ti onalchoice perspective,socialconstructionistperspec tive,psychodynamicperspective,developmen talperspective,socialbehav io ral perspective,andhumanisticperspect Chapter1, wedefi nedth e-oryas a logicallyinterrelatedset of conceptsandpropositions,organized intoa de ductivesystem, whichexplains rela-tio nships amongaspects of ourwo d thataperspective,in contrastto a theory,is br oader andmoregeneral anemphasisor theperspectives discussed in thischapter is composedof a numberof diverseth theseperspectivesis Eu ropeanAmericanin heritage,butin recentyears,ea ch has beeninfluencedby thinking in otherregionsof thewo spectivesbe ca usetheyhavestoodthetestof time,havea widerangeof appli cationsacrossdimensionsof humanbehavior, andareused in hasbeenreconceptu-alized andex thisvolume,marginnotesareusedin Chapters3 through14 to helpyo u rec ognizeideasfromspecific th is chapteris to in tr oducethe b ig ide as of theeightpe rspectives,andnotto presenta detaileddi scussionof thevarious theori es callatt ention,however,to someof themostrecentextensionsof laythegroundworkforyourunderstandingofth e var iations of theperspectivesdiscussedin subse quentch apters.
9 If youareinterestedin a morein-depthlookatth esetheoreticalperspectives,youmight wantto consultan excellent booktit ledCont emporaryHumanBe haviorTheory: A Cr itic al Per spec tive for SocialWork(Robbins,Chatte rjee,& Canda, 2006a).Besidespresentingan overviewof thebigideas,we analyzeth e sci entificmeritof theperspectivesandthei r use-fulnessforsocialworkpr r criticalunders tanding of theoryide nt ifie d in CHAPTER 1 provide37 Chapter2 The oreticalPersp ectiveson Hum an BehaviorHe says he is in a quandaryabout whatto do. Mar cia is goingback to worksoon,but she is still no t strongenoughto prov ide muchphysicalcare to addition,he is not at all optimisticthat he will find ajob in the near fu ture . Hi s formerbosshas now closedthe print ing shopbecauseshe los t someof if he shou ld retrainfor anotheroccupation,but knowsthat this is not agoodtime for him to try to do that,wi th his mother suggests that sheshouldtake som e time off fromschooland find a job workingnightsso that she can give her dad tim eto look fo r jobs du ring the day.
10 She ha s graduatedfr om community collegeand beenacceptedinto abachelor sdegreepr ogramin says she is feeli ng too sad abo ut her grandmother and to o wor -ried ab out the family sfutureto do well in , she woul d like to be able to spendmoretim e with her grandmother be for e she die s. At this point,Marciabreaksdownand cries,sobbingthat she just wan ts to give up : We wor k so hard but nothinggoesour way. I don tknowwherewe willgo if we lose th e house. As the familytalksabouttheirproblemsand possiblesolutions, the soci al workerrecallsthat she hashear d so methingabouta communityprogram that providescounseling to peoplewho are in jeo pardyofhom e foreclosure. She wondersif that couldhelp the n of theper spectives:coherenceandconceptualclarity, testabilityandempiricalsup-port,comprehe nsiveness, consistencywithsocialwork s emphasis on diversityandpowerarr angements,anduseful-nessfor soc ial workpractice.