Ongoing research and projects
Topics of the school's research activities have been organized into the following eight research clusters, and under each one, you'll find just a few examples of faculty and student activities within those clusters. For the most up-to-date list of publications and activities, please click on the link at left called Research Activities. That will take you to our Academic Analytics and Faculty Expertise Database.
Community and Organization Practice
Many social workers are in practice contexts in congregations, medical services in denominational agencies, child welfare services, community service and development organizations, and national and international missions. Research includes knowledge, values, and skills needed for working with voluntary associations and mission-driven institutions.
- Dr. Boddie: Aquaponics Project at Waco ISD
- Dr. Lemmons: Black Female Fatherhood Scholars (BFFs) Network
- Dr. Parrish: Professor awarded $3.1M NIH grant exploring interventions with young women in the juvenile justice system
- Dr. Boddie: Education from a Gardener’s Perspective
Faith and Practice
Faith and Practice research ethically integrates knowledge about faith, spirituality, and religion as a part of preparation for professional social work practice. Our goal is to build on the strengths of persons, families, and communities in order to develop and enhance healthy relationships of persons with their families, groups, communities, the larger world, and God.
- PhD Student Jennifer Hollenberger: Religious Support Moderates the Long Reach of Adverse Childhood Events on Physical Health in Middle to Late Adulthood
- Drs. Harris & Yancey: The Why and How of Congregational Discernment in LGBTQ+ Inclusion: Models in the Literature
- Drs. Harris & Yancey, Mallory Herridge & Carolyn Cole: Addressing LGBTQ+ Inclusion: Challenges, Faith, and Resilience in the Church and her People
- Dr. Yancey: Pregnancy Options Counseling, Title X, and social work: what does faith have to do with it?
- Dr. Boddie: Social distance impact on church gatherings: Socio-behavioral implications
The GSSW works to produce state-of-the-science resources and practical models for the well-being of older persons, their families, residential care environments, congregations, and communities. Gerontology at Baylor focuses on issues of the elderly and their families, drawing together several educational, research and application-based projects focused on improving quality of life for older persons.
- Drs. Harris & Ellor: Older Adults in the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic: Reflections on Vulnerability, Grief, and the Vertical Limit
- Drs. Meyers & Rogers: Nursing facility social work with family behavioral health challenges
- Drs. McGee & Myers: Caring for a Family Member with Mild Dementia: Perceptions, Connections, and Relational Dynamics with the Sacred
Human Rights and Global Practice
Human rights and global social work centers on the integration of culturally competent and ethically sound practice. GSSW strives to engage in human rights research and practice throughout the micro, mezzo and macro-level of social work. It is our goal to engage in faith-integrated research that enhances and empowers the rights of all people through a globalized paradigm.
- Dr. Dickey: Video Lecture: Saviors or Servants?: Listening to Kenyan Experiences of Missionaries and Volunteers
- Dr. Zhao: Incarceration Trajectories and Mental Health Problems Among Mothers Imprisoned in State and Federal Correctional Facilities: A Nationwide Study
- Drs. Boddie & Zhao: Establishing a Social Work Model for China's Rural Revitalization Strategy Targeting Ethnic Minorities
- Dr. McGee: Collective Labyrinth Walking Leads to Connections and Insights for Contemplative Activism in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Social Concerns
Individuals from any socio-economic background, ethnicity, race, age, or other subsets, can be impacted by mental illness. In addition to serving those with mental illness through advocacy, research and trainings, the GSSW provides education/training for social work students, religiously affiliated organizations, congregations, community programs and non-profit organizations.
- Dr. Moon: Buffering Effects of Social Support and Parental Monitoring on Suicide
- Dr. Oxhandler: Client attitudes toward integrating religion and spirituality in mental health treatment
- PhD Student Cali Werner: The Pre-Performance Ritual: A Recipe for Success or a Path to Burnout?
- Dr. Zhao: Crack Cocaine Use Among Aging Mexican American Men with Heroin Use Histories: Motivations and Polydrug Use Patterns
- Dr. Moon: The perfect storm? COVID-19 and Substance Use amongst Social Work Students in the USA
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Multiculturalism
We seek to advance the inclusion of social work's ethical responsibility to their clients by increasing awareness around cultural competency and social diversity. We provide opportunities for faculty and students to research and address social work practice pedagogy around these issues that are prevalent among the individuals, families, and communities we serve.
- Dr. Boddie: Professor awarded grant to support ethnographic research in today’s African American church
- Dr. Polson: Worshipping across the color lines
- Dr. Lemmons: Game Changers: A Critical Race Theory Analysis of the Economic, Social, and Political Factors Impacting Black Fatherhood and Family Formation
- Dr. Polson: Effects of Worshipping in Multi-ethnic Congregations on Whites
- Dr. Boddie: Racial / Ethnic Socialization and Faith: Essential Ingredients for Achieving Liberation and Empowerment among African American Youth
- Dr. Lemmons: Exploring the Multiple Determinants of Discipline & Monitoring Among Non-Resident African American Fathers
- PhD Student Veronica Timbers & Dr. Yancey: A Christian Trans-Affirming Perspective on Changes to the Patient and Affordable Care Act: Theological and Practical Implications for Social Workers of Faith
Social Work Education
Research in the Social Work Education cluster, based on a Christian worldview, studies how to best prepare social workers for generalist practice and advanced levels of practice in areas such as counseling, advanced case management, administration, research, community development and social ministries. Our focus is on Christian scholarship.
- Dr. Oxhandler: Integrating Social Workers’ Christian Faith in Social Work: A National Survey
- Dr. Parrish: Practical Implementation in Social Work Practice A Guide to Engaging in Evidence-Based Practice, 1st Edition
- Dr. Parrish: Evidence-based practice: A common definition matters
- Drs. Parrish & Harris and PhD Student Anysley Scheffert: Factors Associated with Social Work Students' Academic Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey
Trauma response research objectives include providing leadership in the preparation of practitioners to work with trauma, crisis, and mental health both domestically and globally, as well as exploring EMDRIA for practice preparation and research in the effectiveness of EMDR. Student specializations are focused on trauma, attachment, and disaster/crisis response.
- Dr. Harris: What to Write in a Sympathy Card to Offer Meaningful Support
- Dr. Pooler and Dr. Pooler: The Impact of Assembly Trainings on Awareness of Human Trafficking among Middle School and High School Age Youth