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SOWK 333 Human Behavior in the Social Environment

The course emphasizes ecological and theoretical perspectives for social work practice with culturally diverse populations and includes the study of human behavior and development throughout the lifespan. Students deepen their understanding of human diversity by examining ethnocentrism and racism, gender roles and sexism, and sexual identity and sexual orientation. Students apply the ecological model to better understand how social structures influence persons from diverse populations. The impact of systems of oppression, the intersectionality of oppressions and their impact on individuals, families, and communities is explored. Social work practice and policy implications are considered and applied from the biopsychosocial perspective.

Special information

Prerequisites: Formal admittance to the Social Work program and 60 credits minimum.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective January 10, 2016 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Develop knowledge of the biological, psychological and social development of people throughout the lifespan.
  • Apply knowledge of human development theory to identify and understand development across the lifespan at micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  • Develop and apply knowledge of generalist social work practice theories, including systems and ecological, to analyze human behavior within and between various social systems.
  • Identify the relationship between human behavior and generalist social work practice including values and ethics.
  • Identify the dynamics of the aging process and its impact on people and generalist social work practice.
  • Identify the impact of oppression and discrimination on the human development and behavior of women, people of color, American Indians, people with disabilities, people who are LGBTQ, and people who are aged.
  • Use critical thinking skills to examine and apply if appropriate theories for the above populations.
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior in the social environment in understanding and critiquing social policy.

Spring 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
01 Human Behavior in the Social Environment Wilson, Robert J Books for SOWK-333-01 Spring 2024 Course details for SOWK-333-01 Spring 2024

Fall 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
01 Human Behavior in the Social Environment Thao, Neal Cheng X Books for SOWK-333-01 Fall 2024 Course details for SOWK-333-01 Fall 2024
02 Human Behavior in the Social Environment Davila-Williams, Sonia Books for SOWK-333-02 Fall 2024 Course details for SOWK-333-02 Fall 2024