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Social Work Rural Social Work Practice
by
Nancy Lohmann, Roger Lohmann

Introduction

Rural social work may be defined as the practice of social work in any setting identified by those present in the area as rural. This may include farming, mining, fishing, logging, or ranching communities and small towns and villages of many types. There is ongoing debate over how to definitively categorize rural areas, but generally such debate is mostly restricted to those who believe themselves to be, or have an interest in, rural areas, however defined. The most widely used definitions involve uses of census data for population and area. In addition to the traditional rural-urban distinction (less than twenty-five hundred people) and the more recent nonmetropolitan areas distinction, in 2000 the U.S. census introduced an entirely new category of “micropolitan” areas. In all three cases rural is the residual category of those areas that are not urban. Rural social workers tend to utilize the full range of professional knowledge and skills and to share social work values. It is primarily the distinctive characteristics of rural settings that set rural practice apart.

General Overviews

These sources provide a general overview of topics related to rural social work practice, and several may be appropriate for adoption as a textbook. Only sources published since the 2000 census data were collected are included, since older volumes may not accurately reflect the current status of rural populations and rural practice. Ginsberg 2005, Lohmann and Lohmann 2005, and Scales and Streeter 2004 are all edited volumes with contributions by multiple authors. While all are used as primary or secondary texts in courses with content on rural practice, only Scales and Streeter 2004 is specifically designed as a text with suggested discussion questions and classroom activities. Ginsburg 2005 and Lohmann and Lohmann 2005 may be used as textbooks or as books of readings on the topic. The Davenport and Davenport 2008 encyclopedia entry provides the most concise overview of the field of rural social work practice. Stuart 2004 provides a historical context for changes in rural areas and the nature of current practice.

  • Davenport, Judith A., and Joseph Davenport III. 2008. Rural practice. In Encyclopedia of social work. 20th ed. Edited by Terry Mizrahi and Larry E. Davis. New York and Oxford: National Association of Social Workers and Oxford Univ. Press.

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    This is likely the best brief introduction to the nature of rural social work practice. The entry defines rural social work practice, identifies relevant concepts and theories, and describes the nature of practice, the challenges and dilemmas, and trends in practice.

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  • Ginsberg, Leon H., ed. 2005. Social work in rural communities. 4th ed. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    Topics covered include rural community issues, ethics and values, the nature of practice, special populations, and education for practice,

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  • Henderson, Jason, and Stephan Weiler. 2004. Defining “rural” America. Main Street Economist 4:1–2.

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    The paradox that the rural population dropped 4.2 percent between 1990 and 2000 while the nonmetropolitan population rose by 9 percent is explained by offering a new schema in which urban (“metropolitan” and “micropolitan”) areas are contrasted with “town counties” (the 1,378 counties with towns smaller than ten thousand people and classified as nonmetropolitan and noncore).

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  • Lohmann, Nancy, and Roger A. Lohmann, eds. 2005. Rural social work practice. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Topics covered include the context of practice, interventions, client populations, fields of practice, and education for practice.

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  • Scales, T. Laine, and Calvin L. Streeter, eds. 2004. Rural social work: Building and sustaining community assets. Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole Thompson Learning.

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    Provides an introduction to practice and covers traditional areas of social work curricula: human behavior and social environment, practice issues, policy, and research.

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  • Stuart, Paul H. 2004. Social welfare and rural people: From the colonial era to the present. In Rural social work: Building and sustaining community assets. By Paul H. Stuart, edited by T. Laine Scales and Calvin L. Streeter, 21–33. Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole Thompson Learning.

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    Reviews the history of social welfare in rural areas by examining five periods: colonial, early national, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, and the world wars and the cycles of prosperity-depression. The chapter also discusses recent developments, such as the devolution of social welfare services to states.

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Community Development

Contemporary rural communities in the United States are the products of decades of outmigration of large numbers of young people and in many cases major economic transformations and dislocations. Rural social workers often join other local community leaders in efforts to deal with the effects of these trends and conditions. Smith 2008 explores community development as a problem in interorganizational exchange, with particular focus on the role of financial intermediaries. Thibault 2007 offers a more critical and antagonistic examination of the current funding and control patterns characteristic of community development. Much of the rural housing stock is old, deteriorating, or dilapidated, and the Housing American campaign has been one of the major efforts to do something about the condition of the rural housing stock; National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials 2008 is an update on that effort. Fleming 2009 speaks to the issue of a basic strategy of community development, suggesting that focusing on sustainability may be more effective than focusing on the environment or social justice. Poole 2005 argues that rural community building strategies would be furthered if rural social work practitioners had stronger community development skills. Larson and Dearmont 2002 favors a strategy of focusing on improved cultural contexts as a way of fostering health development in the children of farming communities. Tolbert, et al. 2002 gathers data that point to local business activity and civic participation as factors in improving income and decreasing poverty and out-migration in small towns. DeWeese-Boyd 2005 ties together rural political economy and community organizing through the mediating variable of empowerment.

  • DeWeese-Boyd, Margie. 2005. Community political economy and community empowerment: The continuing relevance of community organizing for social work practice in rural areas. In Social work in rural communities. 4th ed. By Margie DeWeese-Boyd, edited by Leon Ginsberg, 53–74. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    Explores the possibilities for rural community empowerment in the context of political economic structures that increase the need for change even as they jeopardize its feasibility.

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  • Fleming, Rachel C. 2009. Creative economic development, sustainability, and exclusion in rural areas. Geographical Review 99.1: 61–80.

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    Descriptive data and qualitative research with artists, planners, and residents of Chatham County, North Carolina, suggest that creative economic development projects can be more effective as sustainable economic strategies than as environmental and social justice strategies.

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  • Larson, Nancy C., and Melissa Dearmont. 2002. Strengths of farming communities in fostering resilience in children. Child Welfare 81.5: 821–835.

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    Focuses on the strengths of rural farming communities in providing a cultural context that supports healthy development in children.

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  • National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. 2008. Housing America update 2008. Journal of Housing and Community Development 65.3: 7.

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    Offers updates on the Housing America campaign to improve the quality of rural and urban housing in the United States.

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  • Poole, Dennis L. 2005. Rural community building strategies. In Rural social work practice. By Dennis L. Poole, edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 124–143. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Few full-time community developers with social work credentials work in rural areas, so rural practitioners of social work must incorporate community development skills into their overall portfolios.

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  • Smith, Brent C. 2008. The sources and uses of funds for community development financial institutions: The role of the nonprofit intermediary. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 37.1: 19–38.

    DOI: 10.1177/0899764007301282Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The interorganizational connections for collaboration, resource dependence, and information exchange maintained by community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are examined with data obtained from a survey of community development financial institutions executive directors and three case studies.

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  • Thibault, Robert E. 2007. Between survival and revolution: Another community development system is possible. Antipode 39.5: 874–895.

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    The author takes a dialectical and investigative approach toward critiquing neoliberal ideology influencing how community development corporations are funded and governed.

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  • Tolbert, Charles M., Michael D. Irwin, Thomas A. Lyson, and Alfred R. Nucci. 2002. Civic community in small-town America: How civic welfare is influenced by local capitalism and civic engagement. Rural Sociology 67.1: 90–113.

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    In this study of small towns (twenty-five hundred to twenty thousand residents), local capitalism and civic engagement variables are related to civic welfare outcomes, such as income levels, poverty rates, and nonmigration rates.

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Nonprofit Organizations

The study of nonprofit organizations has grown dramatically in recent years, and some attention in that rising interdisciplinary field has been devoted to studies of nonprofits in rural communities. Lohmann and Lohmann 2005 explores the situational complexity for nonprofit social service administrators in rural agencies. Ebaugh, et al. 2007 reports the first national data on collaboration in rural faith-based social service agencies, which find a distinctive pattern of specialized collaboration: the typical faith-based agency collaborates most with other faith-based agencies. Snavely and Tracy 2003 also chooses the survey approach to study collaborative practices in southern Illinois and the Mississippi Delta. Trzcinski and Sobeck 2008 surveys nonprofit organizations in Michigan to learn more of the relation between organizational capacity and readiness for change. Much recent emphasis in nonprofit organizations has been on the development of greater understanding through detailed examination of specific cases: Gray 2008 argues for greater use of a seldom-used legal device, the community land trust, as a strategy for increasing home ownership and greater local control of land. Poole 2008 calls attention to interorganizational collaborative networks through the case of the Texas Community Awareness and Relocation Services (CARS) project.

  • Ebaugh, Helen Rose, Janet S. Chafetz, and Paula Pipes. 2007. Collaborations with faith-based social service coalitions. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 18.2: 175–191.

    DOI: 10.1002/nml.180Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The first national survey of faith-based social service coalitions found that coalitions tend to collaborate most frequently with other faith-based agencies.

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  • Gray, Karen A. 2008. Community land trusts in the United States. Journal of Community Practice 16.1: 65–78.

    DOI: 10.1080/10705420801977999Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Land trusts are presented as a means to conserve land and wildlife and to encourage affordable home ownership and local control of land.

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  • Lohmann, Nancy, and Roger A. Lohmann. 2005. The multiple roles of a rural administrator. In Rural social work practice. Edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 144–160. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    The rural context of social agencies imposes constraints that mean that administrators of those agencies must be adept at a wide variety of practices and skills.

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  • Poole, Dennis L. 2008. Organizational networks of collaboration for community-based living. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 18.3: 275–293.

    DOI: 10.1002/nml.186Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An exploratory study of the Texas Community Awareness and Relocation Services (CARS) project examines organizational networks of collaboration for community-based living.

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  • Roberts, Dennis L., Michael Denomme, Felice D. Perlmutter. 2000. Creating nonprofit organizations within disenfranchised communities. Administration in Social Work 24.3: 17–34.

    DOI: 10.1300/J147v24n03_02Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Resources for Human Development (RHD) is a unique, innovative organization that has been a risk taker in creating effective services in collaboration with concerned community groups.

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  • Snavely, Keith, and Martin B. Tracy. 2003. Collaboration among rural nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 11.2: 145–165.

    DOI: 10.1002/nml.11202Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes collaborative practices among nonprofit organizations in rural southern Illinois and the Mississippi Delta.

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  • Trzcinski, Eileen, and Joanne Sobeck. 2008. The interrelationship between program development capacity and readiness for change among small to mid-sized nonprofits. Journal of Community Practice 16.1: 11–37.

    DOI: 10.1080/10705420801977866Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Survey data from 396 small to midsize nonprofit organizations in Michigan are used to examine the relationship between program development capacity and readiness for change and to identify predictors of capacity building among small to midsize nonprofits.

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Ethics and Dual Relationships

Ethics are a major concern for all professional social workers, but rural social work practice displays some unique ethical conditions that present challenges for everyone and that those coming from more urban settings may find disconcerting. Sidell 2008 found that the years of full-time experience impacted attitudes toward ethical behavior. While there are some differences between rural and more urbanized areas, Daley and Doughty 2006 found comparable patterns among rural and urban complaints. Issues near the top of most lists are problems presented by dual relationships, in which a client may also be a neighbor, a friend, a fellow congregant, or a parent of the social worker's children's peers. Galbreath 2005, Galambos, et al. 2005, and Strom-Gottfried 2005 provide specific examples of possible conflicts like these and suggest ways to manage the conflicts.

  • Daley, Michael R., and Michael O. Doughty. 2006. Ethics complaints in social work practice: A rural-urban comparison. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics 3.1: 1–7.

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    A study comparing rural and urban ethics complaints found complaint profiles to be similar.

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  • Galambos, Colleen, J. Wilson Watt, Kimberly Anderson, and Fran Danis. 2005. Ethics forum: Rural social work practice. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics 2.2: 1–6.

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    An analysis of dual relationships, boundary management, and confidentiality in rural practice environments across micro- and macro-practice activities and settings.

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  • Galbreath, Warren B. 2005. Dual relationships in rural communities. In Rural social work practice. By Warren B. Galbreath, edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 105–123. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Provides an overview of potential dual relationship conflicts in direct practice in rural areas.

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  • Sidell, Nancy L. 2008. An exploration of nonsexual dual relationships in rural public child welfare settings. Journal of Public Child Welfare 1.4: 91–104.

    DOI: 10.1080/15548730802118306Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This exploratory study interviewed forty-three employees of two rural child welfare agencies about social worker–initiated nonsexual dual relationship situations and found that, while age and degree do not significantly influence one's view of ethicality, years of full-time social work experience do.

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  • Strom-Gottfried, Kimberly. 2005. Ethical practice in rural environments. In Social work in rural communities. 4th ed. By Kimberly Strom-Gottfried, edited by Leon H. Ginsberg, 141–155. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    An overview of some of the ethical issues in rural practice, including confidentiality, self-disclosure, and dual relationships

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Rural Poverty

Rural economic sectors have lagged behind urban sectors throughout recorded history. There are sound theoretical reasons for believing this imbalance is structural, as Weber, et al. 2005, Fisher and Weber 2004, and Fisher 2007 indicate. Cities throughout history have gotten wealthy by profitable exchange with rural hinterlands. This reality means that poverty in rural communities often presents greater problems for rural social workers and their clients, even as the rural situation offers them fewer resources with which to overcome it. Rollinson and Pardeck 2006 provides an overview of the issues faced by the rural homeless, while Snyder and McLaughlin 2004 looks at the particular problems faced by female-headed households. Lichter and Johnson 2007 discusses the issue of pockets of poverty, and Morrison 2004 finds that isolation has an impact on poverty. Sherman 2006 looks at the relationship between moral capital and economic survival.

  • Fisher, Monica G. 2007. Why is U.S. poverty higher in nonmetropolitan than in metropolitan areas? Growth and Change 38.1 (March): 56–76.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2257.2007.00353.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study findings appear to indicate that enduring nonmetropolitan poverty is explained both by a sorting of low human capital individuals into nonmetropolitan areas and by reduced economic opportunities in nonmetropolitan places compared to metropolitan places.

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  • Fisher, Monica G., and Bruce A. Weber. 2004. Does economic vulnerability depend on place of residence? Asset poverty across metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Review of Regional Studies 34.2 (Fall): 137–155.

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    Findings include that living in a nonmetropolitan area is associated with a higher risk of being asset poor.

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  • Lichter, Daniel T., and Kenneth M. Johnson. 2007. The changing spatial concentration of America's rural poor population. Rural Sociology 72.3 (September): 331–358.

    DOI: 10.1526/003601107781799290Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Rural pockets of poverty may have started to dry up during the 1990s, but concentrated poverty among rural minorities remains exceptionally high.

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  • Morrison, Kathleen B. 2004. The ties that bind: The impact of isolation in rural America. Journal of Public Affairs 7.1: 17–38.

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    Finds a degree of relationship between isolation or economic distance and poverty.

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  • Sherman, Jennifer. 2006. Coping with rural poverty: Economic survival and moral capital in rural America. Social Forces 85.2 (December): 891–913.

    DOI: 10.1353/sof.2007.0026Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Qualitative study of coping strategies adopted in rural areas that suggests the survival strategies chosen are selected because they are socially rational rather than economically optimal.

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  • Snyder, Anastasia R., and Diane K. McLaughlin. 2004. Female-headed families and poverty in rural America. Rural Sociology 69.1 (March): 127–149.

    DOI: 10.1526/003601104322919937Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The risk of female-headed households living in poverty is highest for nonmetropolitan residents.

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  • Rollinson, Paul A., and John T. Pardeck. 2006. Homelessness in rural America: Policy and practice. New York: Haworth.

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    Overview of issues related to homelessness in rural areas that discusses the disadvantages faced by the rural homeless and micro- and macro-level interventions.

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  • Weber, Bruce, Leif Jensen, Kathleen Miller, Jane Mosley, and Monica Fisher. 2005. A critical review of rural poverty literature: Is there truly a rural effect?International Regional Science Review 28.4 (October): 381–414.

    DOI: 10.1177/0160017605278996Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews the literature on rural poverty, focusing on whether there is a rural effect that extends beyond the local economic context.

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Impact of Welfare Reform

Few macro-level or national perspectives are available on the impact, in general, of the program for rural communities called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or even, more specifically, of the 1996 legislation that created it. Weber, et al. 2002 provides such an overview relatively early in the history of the changes leading to the program's implementation. Most work that has been published in this area is focused on or limited to specific states or local communities. The impact on rural Appalachian West Virginia has been studied closely, with Blakely and Locke 2005, Dilger, et al. 2004, and Latimer 2004 reporting on a statewide study of the impact of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Anderson and van Hoy 2006 reports on the experiences of Oregon women, and Pandey, et al. 2003 studied movement to work in Missouri. These readings begin to offer a fairly clear view of the successes and failures of this major social policy reform that put individual responsibility and the obligation to work in the forefront.

  • Anderson, Erin K., and Jerry van Hoy. 2006. Striving for self-sufficient families: Urban and rural experiences for women in welfare-to-work programs. Journal of Poverty 10.1: 69–91.

    DOI: 10.1300/J134v10n01_04Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Rural Oregon women report more challenges in finding and keeping a job than do urban women.

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  • Blakely, Eleanor H., and Barry L. Locke. 2005. Rural poverty and welfare reform: Challenges and opportunities. In Rural social work practice. By Eleanor H. Blakely and Barry L. Locke, edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 25–40. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    An overview of poverty in rural areas and the impact of welfare reform, with the latter focused on the impact in West Virginia, the only completely rural Appalachian state.

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  • Dilger, Robert Jay, Eleanor H. Blakely, Melissa Latimer, Barry L. Locke, F. Carson Mencken, L. Christopher Plein, Lucinda A. Potter, and David Williams. 2004. Welfare reform in West Virginia. Morgantown: West Virginia Univ. Press.

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    Review of the impact of welfare reform in a rural Appalachian state.

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  • Latimer, Melissa. 2004. Between a rock and a hard place: The socioeconomic status of former TANF recipients in West Virginia. Sociological Spectrum 24.1 (January–February): 93–123.

    DOI: 10.1080/02732170490254400Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the socioeconomic well-being of former recipients one year after leaving welfare.

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  • Pandey, Shanta, Shirley Porterfield, Hyeji Choi-Ko, and Hong-Sik Yoon. 2003. Welfare reform in rural Missouri: The experience of families. Journal of Poverty 7.3: 113–138.

    DOI: 10.1300/J134v07n03_06Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the characteristics of welfare recipients and the challenges that they face as they try to move to the workforce.

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  • Weber, Bruce A., Greg J. Duncan, and Leslie A. Whitener, eds. 2002. Rural dimensions of welfare reform. Kalamazoo, MI: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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    Comprehensive review of the impact of the 1996 welfare reform.

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Mental Health

The big-picture perspectives in this area make clear that the contemporary rural mental health system is in a chronic state of crisis due to changes in policy, funding, and patterns of service delivery. The Health Resources and Services Administration webpage dealing with rural mental health provides an overview of rural mental health issues as well as a listing of relevant resources. Randall 2005 and Randall and Vance 2005 also review the services provided and practice approaches. Yellowlees, et al. 2008 and Hall, et al. 2002 describe innovative approaches to rural mental health services. Robbins, et al. 2008 compares the mental health of poor rural and suburban children, Maiden 2003 examines older people, and Hauenstein, et al. 2006 reports on rurality and gender differences.

  • Hall, James A., Christopher Carswell, Elizabeth Walsh, Diane L. Huber, and Jennifer S. Jampoler. 2002. Iowa case management: Innovative social casework. Social Work 47.2 (April): 132–141.

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    Describes an innovative approach to case management for rural clients receiving drug abuse treatment.

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  • Hauenstein, Emily J., Stephen Petterson, Elizabeth Merwin, Virginia Rovnyak, Barbara Heise, and Douglas Wagner. 2006. Rurality, gender, and mental health treatment. Family and Community Mental Health 29.3 (July–September): 169–185.

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    Rural men and women receive less mental health care than their counterparts in more urbanized areas. Reported mental health deteriorates as rurality increases.

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  • Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Rural Health Policy. Mental health and rural America: 1994–2005.

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    Provides an overview of mental health status and services in rural areas and an annotated bibliography.

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  • Maiden, Robert J. 2003. Mental health services for the rural aged. Psychiatric Times 20.12 (November): 41–46.

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    Discusses the mental health services needed by the rural aged.

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  • Randall, Elizabeth. 2005. Services for the chronically mentally ill in rural areas. In Rural social work practice. By Elizabeth Randall, edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 171–186. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Discusses funding, service, and ethnicity as they affect the chronically mentally ill.

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  • Randall, Elizabeth, and Dennis Vance Jr. 2005. Directions in rural mental health practice. In Rural social work practice. By Elizabeth Randall and Dennis Vance Jr., edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 187–210. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Reviews contemporary social work practice in rural mental health services.

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  • Robbins, Vestena, Norin Dollard, Beth Jordan Armstrong, Krista Kutash, and Keren S. Vergon. 2008. Mental health needs of poor suburban and rural children and their families. Journal of Loss and Trauma 13.2–3 (March–June): 94–122.

    DOI: 10.1080/15325020701769170Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A comparison of poor suburban and rural needs found many similarities and also found that highly individualized services and support are needed to reduce caregiver strain to improve child outcomes.

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  • Yellowlees, Peter M., Donald M. Hilty, Shayna L. Marks, Jonathan Neufeld, and James A. Bourgeois. 2008. A retrospective analysis of a child and adolescent eMental Health program. Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry 47.1 (January): 103–107.

    DOI: 10.1097/chi.0b013e31815a56a7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes the implications of an eMental Health program that found that the program was most effective when dealing with attention deficit and mood disorders.

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Health in Rural Areas

Available health data indicate higher levels of disease, illness, and chronic conditions in rural communities in nearly every category. Bailey 2004 provides an overview of the health status of rural populations and may be a good starting point for those with an interest in this area. Cook and Hoas 2008 reports on bioethics studies that describe what really happens in the provision of rural health care. Rural residents are often far from health care services and must travel long distances to receive care. Green-Hernandez 2006 reports on transportation concerns. Telehealth services discussed in Schmeida and Mossberger 2004 also provide a way to access health care. Amundson 2001 discusses the use of multidisciplinary health care teams, and Olden and Szydlowski 2004 discusses the role that rural hospitals may play. Rural older people sometimes face special problems with access to health care, which are discussed in Butler 2006 and Beverly, et al. 2005. Despite this seemingly dismal picture, the majority of rural residents report that they like where they live and wish to remain in their rural communities.

Substance Abuse

Some types of substance abuse problems, including alcohol abuse, smoking, and chewing tobacco, are well known and deeply ingrained in traditional rural ways of living. “Town drunks” are familiar figures, and the signature dark masses of discarded chewing tobacco on streets and sidewalks are a familiar scene in most rural communities. Alcohol Tops Substance Problems in Rural America 2006 and Prokhorov, et al. 2002 report about the incidence of these addiction issues and possible preventative measures. Other problems, such as crack cocaine and methamphetamines, are of more recent origin but nonetheless severe in many communities. Spoth, et al. 2008 reports on efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse among rural youth. Borders, et al. 2008 reports that curbs on over-the-counter cold medicines were associated with increased cocaine use. Sexton, et al. 2006 reports on the use patterns and adverse consequences among some rural methamphetamine users. Crunkilton, et al. 2005 suggests culturally appropriate intervention patterns with Latino and Latina youth. Hodge, et al. 2001 reports on the relationship between spirituality and marijuana use.

  • Alcohol tops substance problems in rural America. 2006. DATA: The Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application 25.S9 (September): 8–12.

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    Alcohol abuse is the top substance abuse issue in rural America, especially among youth and young adults. Twenty-two percent of young adult men and 12 percent of young adult women were found to have an alcohol abuse problem.

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  • Borders, Tyrone F., Brenda M. Booth, Xiaotong Han, Patricia Wright, Carl Leukefeld, Russell S. Falck, and Robert G. Carlson. 2008. Longitudinal changes in methamphetamine and cocaine use in untreated rural stimulant users: Racial differences and the impact of methamphetamine legislation. Addiction 103.5 (May): 800–808.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02159.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study in rural areas of three states found that African Americans were more likely than whites to use crack cocaine, equally likely to use powder cocaine, and less likely to use methamphetamines. Laws restricting the use of over-the-counter cold medicines with methamphetamines were associated with increased cocaine use.

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  • Crunkilton, Dhira, Juan J. Paz, and David P. Boyle. 2005. Culturally competent intervention with families of Latino youth at risk for drug abuse. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 5.1–2 (March): 113–131.

    DOI: 10.1300/J160v5n01_06Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reports on a culturally specific intervention in the rural southwestern United States.

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  • Hodge, David, Paul Cardenas, and Harry Montoya. 2001. Substance use: Spirituality and religious participation as protective factors among rural youth. Social Work Research 25.3 (September): 153–161.

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    In a study of rural youths in the Southwest, increased participation in religious activities predicted greater probability of never using alcohol, and increased spirituality predicted greater probability of never using marijuana and hard drugs.

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  • Prokhorov, Alexander V., David Wetter, Diana Padgett, Carl de Moor, Tao Le, and Heather Kitzman. 2002. Spit tobacco prevention and cessation counseling: Statewide survey of health-care professionals and educators. Substance Use and Misuse 37.2 (15 January): 171–197.

    DOI: 10.1081/JA-120001976Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The use of spit tobacco is especially prevalent in rural areas and poses significant health risks. The views of clinicians and educators about ways to curb use are reported.

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  • Sexton, Rocky L., Robert G. Carlson, Carl G. Leukefeld, and Brenda M. Booth. 2006. Methamphetamine use and adverse consequences in the rural southern United States: An ethnographic overview. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 38, supp. 3 (November 2): 393–404.

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    An ethnographic overview of methamphetamine use in rural Kentucky and Arkansas based on qualitative interviews conducted with thirty-four active, not-in-treatment, primary methamphetamine users.

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  • Spoth, Richard, Linda Trudeau, Chungyeol Shin, and Cleve Redmond. 2008. Long-term effects of universal preventive interventions on prescription drug misuse. Addiction 103.7 (July): 1160–1168.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02160.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reports on long-term effects of preventative interventions to limit prescription drug abuse between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one in a rural midwestern state.

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Diversity in Rural Areas

Rural areas historically have been perceived as less diverse than more urbanized areas. While that image is not historically accurate—think of the original Mexican settlers in the states of the American Southwest, the Native Americans who populated rural America, African Americans in the South, and the white ethnic migrations of the late 1800s and early 1900s—the image most have of rural America is that it is predominantly white and Protestant. Rural America is in the midst of change processes that are resulting in a more racially and ethnically diverse population. Lichter, et al. 2007 reports on racial segregation in small towns and rural areas. Nicholas 2005 provides an overview of the health of rural minority populations. Harley, et al. 2005 identifies factors to consider when social workers practice with rural minority populations. Rural areas are increasingly a destination for immigrant populations, with the increased diversity producing some strains and some opportunities. Loewen 2007 indicates that the literature suggests cultural history plays an important role in examining the impacts of modernity, while Salamon 2003 identifies three models of change in rural areas. Ray and Ray 2008 and Miraftab and McConnell 2008 examine the impact of immigration and the need to consider multicultural planning perspectives. Rice and Steele 2002 found that white ethnic diversity may work to the disadvantage of community building. One thing that has not changed, however, is income inequality, with McLaughlin 2002 finding that nonmetropolitan counties are more economically vulnerable.

  • Harley, Debra A., Todd A. Savage, and Laura E. Kaplan. 2005. Racial and ethnic minorities in rural areas: Use of indigenous influence in the practice of social work. In Social work in rural communities. 4th ed. By Debra A. Harley, Todd A. Savage, and Laura E. Kaplan, edited by Leon H. Ginsberg, 367–385. Arlington, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    Overview of the factors to consider when practicing with minorities in rural areas.

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  • Lichter, Daniel T., Domenico Parisi, Steven Michael Grice, and Michael C. Taquino. 2007. National estimates of racial segregation in rural and small-town America. Demography 44.3 (August): 563–581.

    DOI: 10.1353/dem.2007.0030Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Levels and trends in patterns of racial segregation in small towns are remarkably similar to the patterns in larger metropolitan areas.

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  • Loewen, Royden. 2007. Beyond the monolith of modernity: New trends in immigrant and ethnic rural history. Agricultural History Society 81.2 (Spring): 204–227.

    DOI: 10.3098/ah.2007.81.2.204Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reports on specific ethnic rural communities are used to illustrate how the last decade has brought changes in the view that modernity is an unrelenting force.

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  • McLaughlin, Diane K. 2002. Changing income inequality in nonmetropolitan counties, 1980 to 1990. Rural Sociology 67.4 (December): 512–533.

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    While the data available for this analysis are somewhat dated, the factors examined and the finding that nonmetropolitan counties have greater vulnerability to the forces of economic restructuring are relevant.

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  • Miraftab, Faranak, and Eileen Diaz McConnell. 2008. Multiculturing rural towns: Insights for inclusive planning. International Planning Studies 13.4 (November): 343–360.

    DOI: 10.1080/13563470802518982Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Multicultural planning perspectives tend to be based on urban areas, although this paper presents a case study of efforts in a rapidly changing midwestern community.

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  • Nicholas, Doris. 2005. The health of rural minorities. In Rural social work practice. By Doris Nicholas, edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 211–231. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Provides an overview of the health issues of rural minorities.

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  • Ray, Achintya, and Indrani Ray. 2008. Measuring immigration related diversity in the U.S. European Journal of Scientific Research 23.4 (November): 513–517.

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    Exposure to diversity varies widely by area of the country and size of the community, with urban communities being more diverse than rural ones.

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  • Rice, Tom W., and Brent Steele. 2002. White ethnic diversity and community attachment in small Iowa towns. Social Science Quarterly 82.2 (June): 397–407.

    DOI: 10.1111/0038-4941.00031Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    That white ethnic diversity may be detrimental to community building is among the findings in this study of ninety-nine small Iowa towns.

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  • Salamon, Sonya. 2003. From hometown to nontown: Rural community effects of suburbanization. Rural Sociology 68.1 (March): 1–24.

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    Identifies three models of change: agrarian, postagrarian, and a combination of both.

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Hispanic/Latino

At one time rural Hispanic populations were almost exclusively located in the Southwest and California. Today they are much more widely disbursed in rural areas throughout the country. Kandel and Parrado 2005 indicates that the meat-processing industry is attracting some Hispanics to rural areas, while Calafell 2004 indicates that immigration to the South has impacted relationships between the two ethnic groups that have historically populated that region. Shultz 2008 found that rural Kentucky immigrants were accepted but socially isolated, while Nelson and Hiemstra 2008 found that local context influenced the ability of immigrants to feel as if they belonged. Ingram, et al. 2007 reports that, while rural Latinos and Latinas were more likely to receive food stamps, they had the same level of food insecurity as their urban counterparts.

  • Calafell, Bernadette Marie. 2004. Disrupting the dichotomy: “Yo soy Chicana/o?” in the new Latina/o. Communication Review 7.2: 175–203.

    DOI: 10.1080/10714420490448705Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    While the South has historically been a dichotomous society populated by African Americans and whites, the influx of Latina and Latino immigrants has impacted relationships.

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  • Ingram, Kandis P., Catharine M. Martin, and Lauren A. Haldeman. 2007. Food insecurity and weight status among rural and urban Latino immigrants. FASEB Journal 21.5 (April): A169–174.

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    Rural Latinos and Latinas were more likely to receive food stamps than urban ones, but no significant differences in food security were noted.

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  • Kandel, William, and Emilio A. Parrado. 2005. Restructuring of the U.S. meat processing industry and new Hispanic migrant destinations. Population and Development Review 31.3: 447–471.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2005.00079.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Growth in meat-processing employment had the largest impact on nonmetropolitan Hispanic growth in 2000.

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  • Nelson, Lise, and Nancy Hiemstra. 2008. Latino immigrants and the renegotiation of place and belonging in small town America. Social and Cultural Geography 9.3 (May): 319–342.

    DOI: 10.1080/14649360801990538Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reports on Oregon and Colorado communities that have become 50 percent Latino and Latina and the impact sociospatial relations have on the sense of place and the sense of belonging.

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  • Shultz, Benjamin J. 2008. Inside the gilded cage: The lives of Latino immigrant males in rural central Kentucky. Southeastern Geographer 48.2 (August): 201–218.

    DOI: 10.1353/sgo.0.0024Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Qualitative account of experiences of immigrant males who found accepting communities but social isolation and strenuous workdays in rural Kentucky.

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African American

Rural African Americans have long been heavily concentrated in the traditional “Black Belt” of the southeastern United States, particularly from Maryland to Texas. Migration of African Americans from this region in the twentieth century was also heavily a rural-to-urban migration. For those left behind, rural community life was characterized by a number of features, including strong families closely tied to the church, limited access to education, and continuing patterns of racial exclusion. Murry, et al. 2001 found that such exclusion and discrimination was related to psychological distress, while Hattery and Smith 2007 found a strong relationship between county composition and measures of well-being. Lichter, et al. 2007 found patterns of exclusion of predominantly black areas when annexation was a possibility. Littlefield 2005 discusses the black church as a source of community development and self-help. Avant 2004 describes an Afrocentric perspective and discusses how it may assist in building assets.

  • Avant, Freddie L. 2004. African Americans in rural areas: Building on assets from an Afrocentric perspective. In Rural social work: Building and sustaining community assets. By Freddie L. Avant, edited by T. Laine Scales and Calvin L. Streeter, 77–86. Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole Thomson Learning.

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    A brief overview of practice with African Americans that discusses an Afrocentric perspective and ways that perspective may be used to build assets.

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  • Hattery, Angela, and Earl Smith. 2007. Social stratification in the new/old South: The influences of racial segregation on social class in the Deep South. Journal of Poverty 11.1: 55–81.

    DOI: 10.1300/J134v11n01_03Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examining the relationship between social segregation and well-being, the authors found a strong and significant relationship between the racial composition of a county and many measures of well-being.

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  • Lichter, Daniel T., Domenico Parisi, Steven Michael Grice, Michael Taquino. 2007. Municipal underbounding: Annexation and racial exclusion in small southern towns. Rural Sociology 72.1 (March): 47–68.

    DOI: 10.1526/003601107781147437Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Paper examines whether blacks living adjacent to municipalities are systematically excluded from annexation and found evidence of racial exclusion.

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  • Littlefield, Marci Bounds. 2005. The black church and community development and self-help: The next phase of social equality. Western Journal of Black Studies 29.4 (Winter): 687–693.

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    Reviews current research on the black church as a political, economic, and social entity.

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  • Murry, Velma McBride, P. Adama Brown, Gene H. Brody, Carolyn E. Cutrona, and Ronald L. Simmons. 2001. Racial discrimination as a moderator of the links among stress, maternal psychological functioning, and family relationships. Journal of Marriage and Family 63.4 (November): 915–926.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2001.00915.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Greater racial discrimination was linked with psychological distress, the quality of intimate partnerships, and parent-child relationships in a study of urban and rural Georgia and Iowa.

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Native Americans

Native American populations are found in every state in the United States. As a category, rural Native Americans are extremely diverse, representing the modern members of hundreds of different ethnic, cultural, and language groups. While some live on traditional reservations, others are disbursed within the general population, and a considerable number are found in remote rural areas off-reservation. As with other rural populations, many rural Native Americans have friends and family members living in urban communities. Dana 2000 compares the differing perspectives that Anglo-American and Native American cultural definitions may have on mental health services. Johnson and Dunbar 2005 uses a Native American community to illustrate facets of practice in rural areas.

  • Dana, Richard H. 2000. The cultural self as locus for assessment and intervention with American Indians/Alaska Natives. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development 28.2 (April): 66–82.

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    Compares mental health services from Anglo-American and Native perspectives focusing on the cultural self.

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  • Johnson, Michael, and Ellen Dunbar. 2005. Culturally relevant social work practice in diverse rural communities. In Social work in rural communities. 4th ed. By Michael Johnson and Ellen Dunbar, edited by Leon H. Ginsberg, 349–365. Arlington, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    Uses a Native American community to illustrate the nature of practice, including the use of technology in practice.

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Aging

The changing demographics of the American population in general, combined with long-term tendencies for many young people to seek their fortunes in urban America, mean that older populations are often disproportionately large in rural areas. This demographic reality is combined with a host of other, predictable situations: large numbers of retirees often living on fixed incomes and disproportionately large health problems combined with disproportionately limited health care resources. Butler and Kaye 2003 on gerontological practice provides the most extensive discussion of the nature of practice with older people in rural areas. Johnson 2005 provides a demographic overview of the status of rural older people with regard to factors like health, access to services, and so forth. Roff, et al. 2004 and Yoon and Lee 2004 examine aspects of spirituality as it relates to intervention and ethnicity. Kritz, et al. 2000 describes some differences between rural older immigrants and those native to an area. Rasheed and Rasheed 2004 addresses the informal helping system among black older people.

  • Butler, Sandra S., and Lenard W. Kaye, eds. 2003. Gerontological social work in small towns and rural communities. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Social Work Practice.

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    Provides an overview of the nature of practice with older people in rural areas.

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  • Johnson, Craig. 2005. Demographic characteristics of the rural elderly. In Rural social work practice. By Craig Johnson, edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 271–290. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Overview of the status and characteristics of rural older people, examining factors such as size and distribution of the older population, economic status, housing, health, services, transportation, and medical services and discussing the nature of practice with rural older people.

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  • Kritz, M. M., D. T. Gurak, and Likwang Chen. 2000. Elderly immigrants: Their composition and living arrangements. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 27.1 (March): 85–114.

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    Describes how elderly immigrants differ from elderly natives in terms of living arrangements and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

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  • Rasheed, Mikal N., and Janice Matthews Rasheed. 2004. Rural African American older adults and the black helping tradition. Journal of Gerontological Social Work 41.1–2: 137–150.

    DOI: 10.1300/J083v41n01_08Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines informal care systems in rural African American communities.

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  • Roff, Lucinda Lee, David L. Klemmack, Michael Parker, Harold G. Koenig, Martha Crowther, Patricia S. Baker, and Richard M. Allman. 2004. Depression and religiosity in African American and white community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 10.1: 175–189.

    DOI: 10.1300/J137v10n01_04Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Results suggest the importance of considering positive spirituality in interventions designed to prevent and treat depression.

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  • Yoon, Dong Pil, and Eun-Kyoung Othelia Lee. 2004. Religiousness/spirituality and subjective well-being among rural elderly whites, African Americans, and Native Americans. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 10.1: 191–211.

    DOI: 10.1300/J137v10n01_05Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study found significant ethnic differences in the reliance on religiosity and spirituality and subjective well-being.

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Sexual Orientation

Rural areas are usually thought of as more religiously and culturally conservative, less diverse, and less tolerant of diversity than urban areas. Yet diverse sexual orientations are also found in rural areas. As a result the issues faced by those who are not conventionally heterosexual can be complicated to manage. Neely 2005 provides a comprehensive overview of some of the research findings and issues in this field. Boulden 2001 provides a sense of the experiences of gay men and McCarthy 2000 does so of lesbian women who live in rural areas. Gray 2007 describes youth in rural Kentucky and the ways they may form their sexual identities. Herek 2002 provides national data on attitudes toward those who are bisexual, while Eliason and Hughes 2004 looks at the attitudes of treatment counselors. Kulkin, et al. 2005 reports on homophobic attitudes among social workers and counselors in the Mississippi Delta.

  • Boulden, Walter T. 2001. Gay men living in a rural environment. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies 12.3–4: 63–75.

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    Qualitative study of a small sample of gay men living in Wyoming, where the “don't ask, don't tell” mentality predominates.

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  • Eliason, Michele J. and Tonda Hughes. 2004. Treatment counselor's attitudes about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered clients: Urban vs. rural settings. Substance Use and Misuse. 39:4 (March): 625–644.

    DOI: 10.1081/JA-120030063Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compares counselor attitudes from a Chicago and rural Iowa sample, nearly half of whom, regardless of residence, reported negative or ambivalent attitudes.

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  • Gray, Mary L. 2007. From websites to Wal-Mart: Youth, identity work, and the queering of boundary publics in Small Town, U.S.A. American Studies 48.2 (Summer): 49–59.

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    Focuses on homosexual youth in rural Kentucky and the ways they may form their identities.

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  • Herek, Gregory M. 2002. Heterosexuals' attitudes toward bisexual men and women in the United States. Journal of Sex Research 39.4 (November): 262–275.

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    Uses national survey data from 1,335 people to study attitudes toward bisexuals. More negative attitudes were associated with residence in rural areas, among other factors.

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  • Kulkin, Heidi S., June Williams, and Linda Woodruff. 2005. Social workers in rural areas: An assessment of homophobic attitudes. In Social work in rural communities. 4th ed. By Heidi S.Kulkin, June Williams, and Linda Woodruff, edited by Leon H. Ginsberg, 427–441. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    Examines the attitudes of social workers and counselors in the rural Mississippi Delta and findings that 23 percent of those surveyed had some level of homophobia.

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  • McCarthy, Linda. 2000. Poppies in a wheat field: Exploring the lives of rural lesbians. Journal of Homosexuality 39.1: 75–94.

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    Discusses factors affecting the identities of lesbians in the United States and the importance of a connection to the gay community and lesbian-oriented activities.

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  • Neely, Chatman. 2005. Gay men and lesbians in rural areas: Acknowledging, valuing, and empowering this stigmatized invisible people. In Rural social work practice. By Chatman Neely, edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 232–254. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Overview that includes content on identity formation, perceptions in rural areas, and practice issues.

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Domestic Violence

Changing norms of “acceptable” levels of family violence in the broader society have been difficult for many people in rural areas to accept. There are clear and evident cultural lags in this area. The full range of domestic violence issues, including spousal abuse, child abuse, incest, domestic homicides, and a range of other issues, are found in rural areas. Johnson 2000 reviews domestic violence issues and programs, while Grama 2000 focuses on issues faced by rural women who are the victims of violence. Both Chamberlain 2001 and Shepherd 2001 share observations about domestic violence and child abuse from experiences in Alaska. Hancock and Ames 2008 suggests a role for Latino and Latina churches in dealing with violence among Latinos and Latinas. Despite a broad range of clichés (like those seen in the movies) about the abnormal propensity of rural populations to violence, little reliable evidence that rural populations are more violent exists. Logan, et al. 2001 looks at differences between rural and urban domestic violence, as does Grossman, et al. 2005. Even so, most rural social workers would agree that there is too much domestic violence in rural and urban communities alike.

  • Chamberlain, Linda. 2001. Domestic violence and child abuse: Ten lessons learned in rural Alaska. Policy and Practice of Public Human Services 59.1 (March): 32–38.

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    Focuses on the impact of domestic violence on child witnesses and the connection between domestic violence and child abuse.

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  • Grama, Joana Lyn. 2000. Women forgotten: Difficulties faced by rural victims of domestic violence. American Journal of Family Law 14.3 (Fall): 173–189.

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    Discusses issues involving victims of domestic violence in rural areas, including domestic violence as a social problem, background information, incidence in rural areas, and difficulties faced by rural victims of domestic violence.

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  • Grossman, Susan F., Sarah Hinkley, Annie Kawalski, and Carolyn Margrave. 2005. Rural versus urban victims of violence: The interplay of race and region. Journal of Family Violence 20.2 (April): 71–81.

    DOI: 10.1007/s10896-005-3170-ySave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines victims of domestic violence, comparing the traits and service needs of those who received assistance in an urban county with those who were served by domestic violence programs in rural areas.

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  • Hancock, Tina U., and Natalie Ames. 2008. Toward a model for engaging Latino lay ministers in domestic violence intervention. Families in Society 89.4 (October–December): 623–630.

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    Examines structural and cultural issues related to domestic violence among Latino and Latina immigrants living in rural areas and identifies Latino and Latina church leaders as a potential resource.

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  • Johnson, Rhonda M. 2000. Rural health responses to domestic violence: Policy and practice issues. Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.

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    Provides a general overview of domestic violence issues and programs in rural areas.

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  • Logan, T. K., and Robert Walker, and Carl G. Leukefeld. 2001. Rural, urban influenced, and urban differences among domestic violence arrestees. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 16.3 (March): 266–283.

    DOI: 10.1177/088626001016003006Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study found that rural males present more significant problems given lower employment rates, lower educational attainments, greater use of psychoactive medications, and higher arrest rates. Alcohol use was significantly prevalent across all three groups, but combined alcohol and nerve pill drug use was more prevalent among rural domestic violence arrestees.

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  • Shepherd, Judy. 2001. Where do you go when it's 40 below? Domestic violence among rural Alaska Native women. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work 16.4 (November): 488–510.

    DOI: 10.1177/08861090122094389Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the environmental and cultural context of domestic violence in a remote Alaska Native community and the adaptations that such a context requires for the provision of culturally appropriate services.

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Education

Two facets of education in rural areas are considered in the sources in this section: the level of education of rural populations and the preparation of social workers to practice in rural areas. Data available from the National Center for Education Statistics 2008 paints a picture of the level and status of formal public education programs in rural areas. Gibbs 2005 discusses the relationship between an educated population and economic development and, given the out-migration of many young people from rural areas, the impact such migration has on the available workforce. Lohmann 2005 provides an overview of education for rural social work practice, and Allen 2005 focuses on such education for baccalaureate students.

  • Allen, E. V. 2005. Teaching generalist practice in a rural context. In Social work in rural communities. 4th ed. By E. V. Allen, edited by Leon H. Ginsberg, 445–463. Arlington, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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    Focuses on teaching generalist practice in the baccalaureate curriculum using a rural mental health program in Virginia as a case study.

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  • Gibbs, R. 2005. Education as a rural development strategy. Amber Waves, November.

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    Makes the case that workforce development affects economic growth and thus is important in rural areas. The impact of out-migration to urban areas on educational gains is also discussed. Available online.

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  • Lohmann, Nancy. 2005. Social work education for rural practice. In Rural social work practice. Edited by Nancy Lohmann and Roger A. Lohmann, 293–311. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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    Discusses generalist and advanced generalist practice as it relates to rural practice, research findings about rural practice, continuing education for rural practice, and the use of distance technologies in education.

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  • National Center for Education Statistics. 2008. Status of education in rural America

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    Using national data from several surveys, information about the demographics and outcomes of education in rural areas as well as resources for public schools are provided.

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LAST MODIFIED: 12/14/2009

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195389678-0119

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