School of Social Work faculty and students lead interdisciplinary projects that bring understanding to critical social problems, and develop and implement real solutions to address them. Below are some examples of the impact of recent research projects on communities in Texas and across the nation. See a full list of research projects.
RESEARCH THAT CHANGES LIVES. Healthier pregnancies. Happier seniors. Calmer classrooms. Better conversations with teens about sex. And more. The sixteen stories in this report show how researchers at the School of Social Work are changing people’s lives for the better.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING BY THE NUMBERS. A new report from the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault shows that there are more than 300,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas, including almost 79,000 minors and youth victims of sex trafficking and nearly 234,000 adult victims of labor trafficking.
SEX ED: SWITCHING THE FOCUS FROM WHAT WE TEACH TO HOW WE TEACH. Researchers from the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing are infusing trauma-informed, sex-positive approaches into sexual health education programs for youth and trainings for youth-serving professionals.
A BETTER ADOPTION JOURNEY FOR FOSTER CHILDREN. Professor Rowena Fong is leading a national project to develop evidence-based models of support and services that will better the adoption journey for foster children and families.
UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL VALUES IN LATINO PARENTING. As a parent, should you be authoritative, authoritarian, or neither? The answer is the subject of an ongoing series of studies by associate professor Esther Calzada focusing on early childhood Latino development.
A GROUNDBREAKING BLUEPRINT FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT. A unique collaboration between The University of Texas System Police and social work researchers at the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault has produced a science-based, victim-centered blueprint for law enforcement to respond to sexual assault cases at all 14 UT institutions.
WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY TO HELP FAMILIES WITH CANCER. When a parent has cancer, the impact on the children can be profound. Effects can be seen in the children’s mental health, social relationships, and overall growth and development. Farya Phillips is working evidence-based interventions designed specifically for children dealing with parental cancer.
CULTURE MATTERS WHEN IT COMES TO ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION. It is NOT the case that Hispanics consume alcohol at higher rates than non-Hispanics. However, among those who do drink, Hispanics tend to consume more alcohol, on average, compared to non-Hispanics. Professor Yessenia Castro is finding the best culturally adapted approach to treating heavy drinking among Latino men.
CRITICAL CARE: How many injured patients come into emergency rooms not knowing that they also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? Can they be screened to address their needs sooner? Social work researchers and physicians are finding creative solutions to improve health care delivery in Central Texas.
AN ALL-AROUND APPROACH: Researchers at the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health draw from the strengths of families and communities to promote mental wellbeing among children and youth across the state.
AN ALTERNATIVE TO ZERO TOLERANCE: After two years of working with the Institute on Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue to implement Restorative Discipline, a middle school in San Antonio shows a sharp reduction in student conflicts and suspensions, and improved student performance.
LIVING ON THE EDGE: Researchers at the Addiction Research Institute study patterns of substance use and abuse on the United States-Mexico Border.
SURVEYS FOR A BETTER TEXAS: Social work researchers at the Institute for Organizational Excellence survey the Texas state government to make it better and create public trust.
A TEXAS BORDER COUNTY GETS IN SHAPE: Catherine Cubbin and her research team help Starr County transform to offer healthy choices to its residents, including fresh veggies from school gardens, a mobile farmer’s market, new safe areas to exercise, and new tobacco-free areas.
WILL THEY TURN YOU INTO A ZOMBIE? Jane Maxwell from the Addiction Research Institute studies the use and effects of new synthetic psychoactive drugs such as K2, and develops free training for clinicians.
CHANGING HEALTH OUTCOMES, ONE PERSON AT A TIME: Evidence-based interventions developed by the Health Behavior and Research and Training institute help Americans live healthier lives.
SENIORS FIGHT DEPRESSION, AND LEARN TO TEXT GRANDCHILDREN: Namkee Choi’s tele-health project takes advantage of technology to bring needed mental health services to older adults.