Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Empowerment Series: Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multidimensional Perspective, 6th Edition

  • José B. Ashford
  • Craig W. LeCroy
  • Lela R. Williams
  • ISBN-10: 1305860306
  • ISBN-13: 9781305860308
  • 768 Pages | Hardcover
  • Previous Editions: 2013, 2010, 2006
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

This lively, comprehensive introduction to human behavior in the social environment offers an integrative approach to biopsychosocial case formulations of current and developmental human behavior concerns. The sixth edition builds on prior efforts in promoting integrative assessments by adopting a specific method for completing case formulations that students apply to case studies in the book's developmental chapters. This innovation provides students with a bridge to the core competencies and recommended practice behaviors outlined in the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) set by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), thus helping them connect foundation knowledge with practice concerns. Guidelines for practice and relevant assessment tools are identified for specific life tasks and for each phase of biopsychosocial development. This edition also offers concrete methods for translating developmental research to assessment practices.


  • The authors continue to emphasize applicability of social work principles -- a hallmark of the book since the first edition. Explicit exercises at the end of each developmental chapter comply with CSWE's 2015 competencies and practice behaviors. In addition, a new Chapter 2 devotes attention to helping students understand how to implement integrative-biopsychosocial principles of assessment.

  • The authors' multidimensional framework guides students' understanding of social work theory and its implications for assessment of human behavior and social work practice across the lifespan.

  • "Guidelines for Practice" sections highlight critical issues for social workers and link foundation knowledge to assessment, prevention, intervention, engagement, and policy issues.

  • "Focus On" sections reflect current CSWE guidelines by examining different voices and perspectives, focusing on multiculturalism and narrative.

  • "Personal Narratives" offer firsthand accounts of real-life experiences related to diversity issues such as racism, poverty, sexual orientation, and ageism. Through these different voices, students gain a real-world flavor of the material discussed.


"This book provides students with a sound knowledge base related to human behavior in the social environment. . . . The study tables and 'focus on' narratives provide a real life situation to students they can relate to. The study tables are a must have in that they bring to life the essence of the competencies."
— Molly Davis, George Mason University

About the Author

José B. Ashford

José B. Ashford teaches the human behavior courses in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University and serves as a professor in the doctoral program in sociology. He is also an affiliate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Law and Behavioral Science, and Justice and Social Inquiry. Dr. Ashford is the principle investigator of the Community Justice Support Services grant, funded by the Maricopa County Human Services Department, and the Chief Research Consultant for the Office of the City of Phoenix Prosecutor. He testifies around the country as a social history and life course expert in the assessment of mitigating factors in capital murder cases, and is actively engaged with the Arizona Justice Project in examining the lives of juveniles serving life sentences. He has published widely in areas dealing with the assessment, classification, and treatment of special need offenders; forensic social work; mitigation of punishment; risk and needs assessment; and offender reentry.

Craig W. LeCroy

Craig Winston LeCroy is a professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. Dr. LeCroy has directed several projects for children and adolescents, including a Children's Bureau grant focused on home visitation for parents of young children, a National Institute of Mental Health Training Grant for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, and several prevention projects including substance abuse prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, and Go Grrls, a primary prevention program for early adolescent girls. Professor LeCroy has published widely in the areas of home visitation children's mental health, social skills training with youth, and risk and needs assessment with juvenile offenders.

Lela R. Williams

Lela Rankin Williams is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. Dr. Williams has interdisciplinary training in psychology and human development and family studies. She regards cultural and familial relationships as critical influences on development from infancy through adolescence. She has collected, analyzed, and published data from several long-term longitudinal studies, as well as some community-based intervention studies, in the areas of infant-temperament, mother-infant bonding, parenting and parenting interventions, adolescent substance use and prevention, dating violence, juvenile desistance, and sexual education across the lifespan.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Human Behavior in the Social Environment.
2. An Integrative Multidimensional Framework for Assessing Current and Developmental Concerns.
3. Pregnancy.
4. Infancy.
5. Early Childhood.
6. Middle Childhood.
7. Adolescence.
8. Emerging and Young Adulthood.
9. Middle Adulthood.
10. Late and Very Late Adulthood.
Epilogue: The Journey of Life.

New to this edition

  • A revision in the book's organization enhances the connection between human developmental knowledge and social work. A new introductory chapter offers insight into how key social work assumptions and values are integrated within current approaches to understanding human developmental processes: lifespan, life-course, and strengths perspectives. In addition, an entire chapter (Chapter 2) is devoted to helping students understand how to apply the book's integrative multidimensional framework to assess current problems and how those problems developed over time.
  • The authors introduce the 4Ps method for completing a biopsychosocial formulation of a case.
  • This edition includes new practice guidelines for specific issues in human development as well as new content on emerging adulthood and very late adulthood.
  • New co-author Lela Rankin Williams brings her expertise in infancy and early childhood development to the text.
  • Additional graphs and materials simplify complex topics and enhance the acquisition of relevant information.
  • MindTap ®, an online learning experience built on the book's content, is available with this text. MindTap guides you through your course by combining readings, multimedia, applied activities, and quizzes into a learning path. Each chapter utilizes realistic videos to illustrate skills and concepts in action, followed by questions that give you practice evaluating and thinking critically about what you viewed.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1305870573 | ISBN-13: 9781305870574)

This detailed manual provides sample syllabi, course guidelines, in-class exercises, and chapter objectives to assist instructors in teaching the course.

Online Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1305870581 | ISBN-13: 9781305870581)

Organize your course and capture your students' attention with the resources found in the Test Bank, including multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer, and essay questions -- most with answers and page references for each chapter of the text.

Online PowerPoint®  (ISBN-10: 130587059X | ISBN-13: 9781305870598)

These vibrant Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.

MindTap Social Work, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Ashford/LeCroy/Williams' Empowerment Series: Human Behavior in the Social Environment  (ISBN-10: 1305879376 | ISBN-13: 9781305879379)

MindTap Social Work for Ashford/LeCroy/Williams' Empowerment Series: Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 6th Edition is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie-cutter into cutting-edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers. As an instructor using MindTap, you have at your fingertips the e-book, videos, easy access to journal articles in Questia, chapter-opening self-assessment and polling activities, and quizzes, as well as a unique set of tools curated specifically for your course, all in an interface designed to improve workflow and save time when planning lessons and course structure. Build and personalize your course, focusing on the most relevant material while also lowering costs for your students. Stay connected and informed in your course through real-time student tracking that provides the opportunity to adjust the course as needed based on analytics of interactivity in the course.

Student Supplements

MindTap Social Work, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Ashford/LeCroy/Williams' Empowerment Series: Human Behavior in the Social Environment  (ISBN-10: 1305879376 | ISBN-13: 9781305879379)

It’s 1 AM, there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you’re so tired you can’t even read. It’d be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap Social Work for Ashford/LeCroy/Williams' Empowerment Series: Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 6th Edition you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books! The MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards and the entire eBook in the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students.