SAGE Journal Articles
Explore full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in the chapter.
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Aiyer, S. M., Zimmerman, M. A., Morrel-Samuels, S., & Reischl, T. M. (2014). From broken windows to busy streets: A community empowerment perspective. Health Education & Behavior, 42:2, 137–147.
In the present article, we introduce a community empowerment perspective to understanding neighborhoods. A preponderance of literature exists on neighborhood risk factors for crime. Yet less is known about positive factors that make neighborhoods safe and desirable. We propose community empowerment as a conceptual foundation for understanding neighborhood factors that promote social processes, and ultimately, lead to an improvement in structural factors. We suggest that neighborhoods are empowered because they include processes and structures for positive social interactions to emerge and develop. We present busy streets as a mechanism that creates a positive social context, in which social cohesion and social capital thrive. Thus, empowered communities are characterized by climates that promote busy streets. Our article underscores the need to examine both the broader, structural context and social processes operating within this context. Such an integrative perspective is necessary to fully understand how to empower neighborhoods, particularly in the face of structural challenges.
Gültekin, L., Brush, B. L., Baiardi, J. M., Kirk, K., & VanMaldeghem, K. (2014). Voices from the street: Exploring the realities of family homelessness. Journal of Family Nursing, 20, 390–414.
Homelessness threatens the health and well-being of thousands of families in the United States, yet little is known about their specific needs and how current services address them. To fill this knowledge gap, we explored the experiences of homelessness families in Detroit, Michigan. We targeted homeless mothers and their caseworkers for study to see if the perceptions of needs and services were in alignment. Using focus groups and content analysis, we identified four overarching themes that illustrate homeless mothers’ experience with homelessness. We then analyzed data from caseworkers to look specifically for similarities and differences in their perceptions. Key findings included reports of family histories of violence, poverty, social isolation, and a lack of informal support as contributing to homelessness. The differing perspectives of mothers and their caseworkers regarding how best to move forward highlight how current programs and services may not be meeting the needs of this growing and vulnerable cohort.