SOCW 6361: Individual Vs. Structural-Cultural Theories

Theories developed by psychologies significantly influence social work practice, education, and research. The psychological theories of poverty have been emphasizing the roles of group or individual to explain the impact and causes of poverty. Psychologies have also put a lot of emphasis on societal and structural factors that moved beyond individual pathology explanations and contribute to poverty (Turner & Lehning, 2007). Social workers can conceptualize a poverty presenting problem using different theories.  The first individual related theory, according to Turner and Lehning (2007) is the medicalizing perspective, which articulates that the behaviors of poor people results from psychological disturbance like mood disorders and hereditary psychosis. Mental health practitioners and systems most often identify and perceive that poor people to adapt and cope with adverse environments since they have mental health problems. Behaviors that make sense in a particular context are often flagged as impaired and dysfunctional in another. On the other hand, one structural-related theory highlighted by Turner and Lehning (2007) is the social causation hypothesis, which articulates that people’s economic situation leads to psychopathologies. Lack of money leads to stress in people’s lives as well as depression and other mental health problems. The social selection perceptive would portray the mentally challenged individuals as impoverished in society.

In a theoretical related lens, this conceptualization is different in individual and structural theories. According to a medializing perspective, people’s mental health is the leading cause of impoverished environments (Turner & Lehning, 2007). Furthermore, mental illness can hinder people from socioeconomic attainment and cause individuals to never escape poverty after drifting into the lower social class. According to research, there is a reciprocal relationship between mental health and social-economic status, even though causation has more evidence (Almquist, Landstedt & Hammarström, 2017). On the other hand, the social causation hypothesis blames a person’s mental illness in an impoverished environment. The medicalizing approach represents an individual related theory, that indicates that people’s mental heal problems is the leading basis of poverty (Rauch, 2019). The social causation hypothesis represents a structurally linked model, which shows poverty as the leading reason for people’s psychological illnesses.

The way social workers approach the issue of poverty and intervene is different in both theories. Both the medicalizing perspective and structural-related theory need an empathetic and warm approach to help in building trust and rapport. When employing an individual related theory like the medicalizing approach in treatment of clients, social workers most probably arbitrate with mental health services to help in management of medication (Rauch, 2019). In contrast, a structurally related theory like the social causation hypothesis, social workers are likely to intervene with structures assessment tools to show poverty levels and mental illness. This will help in determining an accurate intervention. Furthermore, the social causation hypothesis is critical in advancing the understanding of social equality influence on people’s lives (Almquist, Landstedt & Hammarström, 2017). Both theories are employed differently in social work practice and have substantial outcomes for individuals.

One key benefit of a medicalizing approach is that it makes it easier for someone who has been diagnosed with an illness to obtain insurance coverage for the care they require to reduce unpleasant symptoms (Rauch, 2019). The designation can also assist people in connecting with others who share their illness for assistance. The drawback of this approach is that whenever something is classified as an illness or medical condition by healthcare workers, it may have unexpected repercussions because it presumes that the actions displayed by the patient are intrinsically deviant or improper. The main advantage of the social causation hypothesis is the fact it seeks to identify causal links between people and structural issues and then uses theory formation and implementation in order to clarify these links (Turner & Lehning, 2007). However, multiple factors, either adequate or required, frequently cross and work together to produce a particular phenomenon, and as a result, theories of sole or fundamental causality are sometimes insufficient for social study.




















Almquist, Y. B., Landstedt, E., & Hammarström, A. (2017). Associations between social support and depressive symptoms: social causation or social selection—or both?. The European Journal of Public Health, 27(1), 84-89.

Rauch, S. (2019). Medicalizing the Disclosure of Mental Health: Transnational Perspectives of Ethical Workplace Policy Among Healthcare Workers. World Medical & Health Policy, 11(4), 424-439.

Turner, K., & Lehning, A. J. (2007). Psychological theories of poverty. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 16(1/2), 57–72. Doi:10.1300/J137v16n01-05





Homework Essay Paper Writers
Calculate your order
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Choose Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always confirm that writers follow all of your instructions precisely. you'll choose your academic level: highschool, college/university or professional, Your order will be assigned to a writer who possesses a respective degree.

Highly Experienced Paper Writers

Highly Experienced Paper Writers

Our team of professional academic writers has years of vast experience in academic writing, research, and formatting. So you can always be sure that your project is in safe hands.

Free Revisions Essay Writing

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you believe we missed something, feel free to send your order for a free revision. After receipt of the final document, You have 10 days to submit the order for review. A revision can be submitted by logging into your personal account or by contacting our support team.

Timely Assignment Delivery

Timely Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

We ensure that all papers are always delivered on the expected time. In any case, if we require more time to polish your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you are not in a position to allocate additional time, a 100% order refund is guaranteed.

Plagiarism free custom writing

Plagiarism free & Confidential

As part of our quality assurance process, we use several writing tools and checks to ensure that all documents you receive are 100% unique and original.Each paper undergoes careful review by our editors to deliver plagiarism free essays. We also guarantee maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

Real time chat essay writer

Real time online chat with your writer

Our writers and support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to assist you. We are committed to providing you with top-notch customer experience. Chat with us anytime.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Get your paper done in these simple steps

give essay topic

Give your requirements

Fill in the order form and tell us about your assignment, instructions and deadline

pay for essay

Proceed with the payment

Choose your preferred payment method and the writer will start writing your custom paper.

download custom essay

Download the final file

Once your high quality custom paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Paper Writing Services

We are here to ensure you dont get stuck with your coursework and assignments. Focus on your hobbies and enjoy some quality leisure time as we write your paper. You can trust our kinds of writing services.

essay writing service essay helper


Essay Writing Service

Stuck with an essay assignment? Making an admission application? We specialize in writing high quality and engaging personal statements as well as application essays. Our professional academic essay writers are experts in writing 100% original essays according to order specifications. From compositions, creative writing to literary analysis we've got you covered.

professional assignment Help assignment writer


Professional assignment Help

Your routine homework and academic assignments are completed on time and at affordable prices. Submit your assignments and the respective subject matter expert will get it done within no time and painlessly. Better grades will be yours without any stress at all!

research paper writing service english essay writer


Research and Term Papers

Every member of our dynamic essay writing team is an expert in academic research. They are all well versed with APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard citation formats. Your research paper gets to you fully formatted and ready to be submitted. The research involved in writing your paper is always 100% original. This is part of our commitment to provide you with papers free of plagiarism.

custom writing academic writer

Custom Writing

Custom Writing Services

Our highly experienced business, nursing, and psychology writers are true professionals with vast prowess at delivering outstanding work in a wide range of fields. You dont have to worry about Short deadlines anymore. Just give us the instructions and you'll receive your custom paper ASAP! We have fully qualified, full-pro writers on stand by to assist you.