Dispatches from the College of Social Work

A message from the dean

Professional social work is a field of practice that impacts the lives of many people. In responding to the complexities of the human condition, social workers empower people to help themselves. From the cradle to the grave, and at every point in between, social workers can be found. The research highlighted in this edition of Research Matters similarly showcases ways that social workers are helping people across the entire life span—from the impact of maternal drug use on children to the effects of social stigma in older adults. As I reflect on the many life stages in my own family, I am grateful for the work of my colleagues in improving our quality of life. We are eager to share more of the exciting research happening at the U during SSWR’s annual conference in January, as well as through our community-centered Talks with Teasley research showcase events throughout the year.

—Martell Teasley, dean and professor in the College of Social Work

Kids of the cocaine epidemic: Coming to a more complete and complex understanding

What began with a simple question has grown over time into a multifaceted analysis of behavioral trends in a generation. How does a pregnant mother’s cocaine use affect her baby? Read more here.

Disproportionate minority contact: It’s tricky

Researchers identify a considerable disparity between the rates at which youth of color and white youth come into contact with police in Utah. In developing potential solutions, they stress the importance of looking at systems as a whole rather than pointing the finger at any single entity. Read more here.

Life stigmatized

For sexual and gender minorities, the potential for threats and bullying doesn’t end upon high school graduation. One researcher’s work and lived experiences gives us a look at the impact of a lifetime of internalized stigma. Read more here.