Social Work Undergrads Present Research at 11th Annual Undergraduate Scholars Showcase

Social Work Undergrads Present Research at 11th Annual Undergraduate Scholars Showcase

The College of Social Work is proud to congratulate and acknowledge three outstanding undergraduate students in the College of Social Work who were given the distinct honor of showcasing their research at the 11th Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars. The Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars provides UK undergraduates the opportunity to professionally present, perform, or demonstrate their research to UK faculty, staff, students, and the general public. In 2017, the College of Social Work was represented by undergraduate students Martha Tillson, Elizabeth Biggs, and Martha Holtzworth. Their research studies are:

Biggs, Elizabeth

Mentor: Diane Loeffler

Immigration Policy in the United States

This article focuses on the immigration policy before and after September 9, 2011 beginning with the Immigration Act of 1965. It discusses the pro-immigrant policies and diction used before the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the anti-immigrant policies following 9/11.

Martha Holtzworth

Mentor: Diane Loeffler

Indexing Welfare Restrictions: A Quantitative Analysis of Regional Trends in State TANF Regulations

State level analysis of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) have been instrumental in helping to understanding how the program’s restrictions affects the lives of in poverty. However, research that quantitatively analyzes the restrictions on a state-by-state or region-by-region basis is very limited. In this paper an index of restrictiveness is created, discussed, and applied to the southeastern and northeastern regions of the United States. Through this application of the index, the paper argues that though both the Northeast and Southeast have regional trends in TANF policies, they are similar in their restrictiveness. This strengthens arguments that federal policy is more responsible for the restrictions states set on TANF programs than regional differences in attitudes.

Martha Tillson

Mentor: Michele Staton-Tindall

Age of First Arrest, Sex, and Drug Use as Correlates of Adult Risk Behaviors Among Rural Women in Jails

Incarcerated women frequently report initiation of substance use and sexual encounters at an early age, and often engage in high-risk drug use and sexual behaviors as adults. This study examined the timing of first sex, drug use, and arrest, as well as their unique influences on specific risky behaviors in adulthood, among a high-risk population of rural women recruited from jails. Ages of initiation were all positively and significantly correlated, and each independently increased the likelihood of several risky behaviors in adulthood. Implications are discussed for screening, intervention, and treatment targeting high-risk women and girls in rural areas, particularly within criminal justice settings.

The College would like to formally acknowledge and congratulate these students and their mentors on their outstanding research and recognition by the University-at-large.