Session: Adversity, Marginalization and Social Isolation across the Life Course: Risks and Resilience (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

189 Adversity, Marginalization and Social Isolation across the Life Course: Risks and Resilience

Saturday, January 18, 2020: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Archives, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Mental Health (MH)
Symposium Organizer:
Suzanne Brown, PhD, Wayne State University
Suzanne Brown, PhD, Wayne State University
Social isolation is a potent killer, with strong epidemiological evidence supporting the association between isolation and poor health outcomes for individuals. Over the past 20 years, social isolation among Americans has increased significantly, and evidence of the effect of social isolation on health and life quality continues to grow. Inadequate social networks are associated with greater susceptibility to illness, increased mortality, and poorer health and well-being. However, risks for social isolation do not fall equally across the population. In fact being a member of a marginalized or stigmatized group and experiencing childhood adversity may increase one's risk for social isolation.

This symposium will highlight four papers that examine the role of adversity and marginalization in social isolation. These papers were invited for a special issue of the Journal of Clinical Social Work on the Grand Challenge of Social Isolation. Risk factors related to adversity and social marginalization, factors that promote resilience in the face of marginalization based social isolation and an intervention designed to decrease isolation among a LGBT older adults will be presented. These papers are united by their focus on social isolation and the role that adversity and marginalization have as risk factors for isolation. All authors in this symposium apply concepts related to early adversity and the role of marginalization in their discussion of risk and protective factors for social isolation. They also offer suggestions for intervention to reduce isolation among vulnerable populations. In the first paper, “Adverse childhood experiences and social isolation over the life course”, Pal uses a developmental life-course perspective and a large survey data set (N=33,714) to examine the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and social isolation across the life course. Pal finds that those who've experienced four or more ACEs are twice as likely to experience social isolation in adulthood as those with fewer ACEs. The second paper, “Resilience among Latino immigrants in the United States: The role of social support in reducing social isolation” by Lee and colleagues, explores the ways in which immigrant migrants are at elevated risk for loneliness and social isolation. With a sample of 306 participants they found that social support was significantly associated with resilience in this population. In the third paper, “Exploring protective and risk factors of social isolation among college students with physical disabilities”, Hardner presents her use of photovoice as part of a Community Based Participatory Action method with eight college students with physical disabilities. Results suggest that having a positive sense of identity, independence, and support from the disabled community protected against social isolation for college students with a disability. Finally, in the fourth paper, “Social isolation among LGBT older adults: Lessons learned from a pilot Friendly Caller Program”, Perrone, Ingersoll-Dayton, and Watkins-Dukhie assess the outcome of a pilot intervention that matched LGBT older adults to LGBT and non-LGBT volunteer callers. They found that the intervention most benefited LGBT older adults of color, and that volunteer callers at risk for social isolation also benefited from involvement in the intervention.

* noted as presenting author
Resilience Among Latino Immigrants in the United States: The Role of Social Support in Reducing Social Isolation
Jane Lee, PhD, MSW, University of Washington; Jeeyeon Hong, BSW, University of Washington; Yuanjin Zhou, PhD, University of Washington; Gabriel Robles, PhD, MSW, City University of New York
Social Isolation Among LGBT Older Adults: Lessons Learned from a Pilot Friendly Caller Program
Angela Perone, JD, MSW, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, PhD, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Keisha Watkins-Dukhie, BA, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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