Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

SOWK 501:

Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

This course focuses on deepening the student's knowledge of human behavior. Maladaptive patterns of adult psychological functioning are examined.

Course content primarily centers upon major forms of psychopathology. However, this material is taught from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective so that students can contextualize the information. Although students concentrate upon problematic patterns of functioning, the course is presented in a manner that encourages them to view the strengths of clients along with their difficulties. Students learn to use the DSM-V classification system, but they are taught to view it as a social construction, which reveals as much about the society and its views of human behavior as it does about the clients clinical social workers encounter. In this way, students are expected to utilize course content in ways that exemplify clinical social work practice (i.e., solid knowledge of psychopathology which is applied in a manner sensitive to culture, race, and ethnicity as well as with consideration of sexual orientation, gender, physical challenges, and developmental factors).

This course supports courses offered in the Individuals and Families Sequence by providing cognate knowledge concerning atypical patterns of behavior and bio-psycho-social-spiritual factors thought to engender and mitigate their manifestation. It supports courses in the Research Sequence by encouraging students to examine critically the DSM-V classification system and the categories of psychopathology covered in light of recent research studies. By contextualizing this material, this course also supports content offered in the Social Welfare Policy and Services Sequence as issues related to service delivery, distribution of resources, marginalization of vulnerable populations and social justice are raised. SOWK 501 presents material that undergirds courses offered in the Families and Children as well as Health and Mental Health clusters. Knowledge of atypical patterns of functioning and related factors is considered to be essential to all clinical social work practice.