Social Work and Human Services

The Biological Person: Implications for Social Work Practice



The purpose of this exercise is to support a better understanding of the interrelationships among a client’s physical health, psychological/emotional health, and exterior environmental conditions in social work practice.


Chapter 3 of the Hutchison text discusses six “interior environment systems” in human beings – the nervous, endocrine, immune, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and reproductive systems.  In a 4-5 page paper, using the textbook to support your statements, consider these systems as you discuss the following:


  1. Using a case study from Chapter 3 of the Hutchison text, discuss how two or more of these interior systems are interconnected and interact with a dimension of human behavior. [Suggested Heading: Interior Systems]


  1. The Hutchison chapter discusses how a person’s interior environmental conditions of health and illness are influenced by the exterior environment—the social, political, cultural, and economic context. Schriver’s chapter 6 discusses epigenetics, specifically allostasis (one’s ability to adapt). Provide an example from your own life illustrating how your health has been influenced by your exterior environment as well as your management of environmental stressors whether at home, work, or in the neighborhood. Be sure to explain the environmental health condition and the exterior environmental constraints that affected it. [Suggested Heading: Environmental Health and the Exterior Environment]


  1. In thinking about the case example selected, how might the social worker incorporate empathic skills and understanding when assessing the impact of the client’s behaviors on his or her biological functioning. Additionally, discuss why it is helpful to be aware of the allostatic load experienced by the client in the case example. [Suggested Heading: Empathy]


  1. The chapter discusses how the exterior environmental may influence not only personal physical experiences but also the values and socio-emotional response assigned to health and illness. How might this impact on social work interventions when advocating for clients? [Suggested Heading: Social Work Interventions]


Use APA 7th ed. style for in-text citations and reference page, double-spaced using a 12-point Times New Roman font.



This assignment comprises 15% of your course grade.

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