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Culture and the Psychosocial Implications of Socioeconomic Position Part 1: Culture and Social Determinants of Health

Author: Jessie Timmons, LCSW
(Click author's name for bio)

Course Created: 2021

Practice Level: Intermediate

No book to buy Duration: 4 hours
4.4 out of 5.0, Based on: 6,175 reviews

Course Summary

Important note about this learning material: This course is Part 1 of a three-part series designed for social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and counselors on the topics of culture and the psychosocial implications of socioeconomic position. Parts 2 and 3 of this series are companion courses. Parts 2 and 3 for social workers can be found here and here; and for psychologists, counselors, and mfts here and here). Although it is not necessary to read the companion courses the learner’s experience will be enriched by the information presented in Parts 2 and 3.

This content is similar to a different offering intended to meet California pre-licensure requirements for social workers, school psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and counselors on the topic of culture and the psychosocial implications of socioeconomic position. If you are seeking the California required courses Part 1 can be found here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. Due to content overlap, participants should take either the California requirements or this course, but not both.

Major health and mental health disparities exist in the United States (U.S.), with vastly different health outcomes and living circumstances for individuals in differing geographic and social communities. The purpose of the course is to introduce social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and counselors to the effects of social determinants of health and guide them in incorporating this information into assessment and intervention with individuals, groups, families and communities.  Comprehensive information about the ways that social stigmas and cultural forces impact individuals and communities to create differential health outcomes is explored.  The learning material examines factors and social constructions affecting health outcomes and access to care including racial and ethnic identity, gender identity and expression, body size, ability status, immigration status, engagement in marginalized work (such as sex work), mental health status (including a discussion on substance use), legal status (including current and former incarceration), and economic disadvantage.  Further, the effects of socioeconomic status and position on individuals, along with varied effects of stigma and discrimination (including the disparate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic where applicable), are described in detail. Following from this is an exploration of how commonly applied theories of human behavior and health integrate these concepts into case conceptualization, which includes a thorough discussion of the social and cultural impacts on the presenting problems of clients.  Current research provides insights about the state of understanding with regard to social determinants of health as well as the direction of future research, and many clinical examples and case vignettes are included to illustrate concepts and aid clinicians in the development of their skills. Case vignettes illustrate the complexities of these diversity dimensions and offer questions for deeper thought.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test. When you're ready, purchase the course by clicking the "Add To Cart" button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize multiple dimensions of health outcomes related to specific social determinants of health in the United States.
  • Explain the connection between identities/group memberships and differential health outcomes for groups of people in the United States.
  • Describe how socioeconomic status and socioeconomic position affect potential health outcomes.
  • Describe ways that stigma affects help seeking and individual experiences with the health care system.
  • Apply assessment theories to client case conceptualization with emphasis on social determinants of health.

Course Syllabus

Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Socioeconomic Position (SEP)
Dimensions of Diversity
            Poverty and Economic Disadvantage
            Race, Ethnicity, and Colorism
            Gender Identity and Expression
            Sexual Orientation
            Body Size, Weight Stigma, and Size Bias
            Ability Status
            Immigration Status
            Engagement in Marginalized Work
Mental Health Status
            Substance Use Status
Legal and Incarceration Status
Veterans and Military Personnel
Other Social Elements
Theoretical Frameworks for Understanding SES, SEP, And SDH
            Life Course Perspec tive
            Relational Cultural Theory
            Social Ecological Model of Health and Systems Theory
            Minority Stress Theory
References, provider #1115, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. maintains responsibility for this course. ASWB ACE Approval Period: 07/08/21-07/08/24.

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