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Helen Kivnick

Ph.D., University of Michigan
M.A., University of Michigan

School of Social Work
Rm 105 PetersH

1404 Gortner Ave
Tel: 612-624-6773

Areas of Interest

Psychosocial Development Through the Life Cycle: Special Emphasis on Promoting Healthy Development in Childhood and Later Life, on Understanding Healthy Development in the Face of Adversity, on Healthy Development in an Ecological Context, and on Intergenerational Relations, Vital Involvement Practice: Strengths-based Long-term Care Practice for Frail Elders, Life Cycle Therapy, Psychosocial Health, Culture, and the Arts, Psychosocial Health, Social Justice, and Human Relations

Research Interests

  • "CitySongs." This outreach and practice-based research project integrates music and prevention-based social work. CitySongs uses singing (rehearsal and performance activities) as a way to promote healthy behavior and development among at-risk youth, to enrich inner-city neighborhood development, and to enhance racial and ethnic relations in the Twin Cities. I founded CitySongs in 1991-92.
  • "Vital Involvement Practice." This capacity-building approach to developing care plans and practicing long-term care for the frail elderly is grounded in the concept of vital involvement, as described by Erikson, Erikson, & Kivnick (1986). We have piloted the approach in Portland, OR and Hennepin County Coordinated Home Services. We are currently developing a group model to be piloted at one of the Hennepin County senior high rises in the spring of 1999.
  • "Elder Role Models in Long-term Care." This study takes a life-cycle approach to learning from elders who are identified as being "good at" being in long-term care. In conjunction with work on an interview guide for use with clients, the study will help us conceptualize "best case" models of elders living vital, productive, satisfying lives while requiring and receiving long-term care.

Selected Publications

  1. Kivnick, H. Q., & Kavka, A. (in press). It takes two: Therapeutic alliance with older clients. In M. Duffy (Ed.). Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy with older adults. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

  2. Kivnick, H. Q. (in press). Human behavior and the social environment: Adulthood and aging. In D. Norton (Ed.). Plurality and ecology: An ecological systems framework for a pluralistic curriculum-Beyond the dual perspective. Washington, DC: Council on Social Work Education.

  3. Kivnick, H. Q. (1998). Through the life cycle: Psychosocial thoughts on old age. In G. H. Pollock & S. I. Greenspan (Eds.). The course of life (7) 119-134. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.

  4. Kivnick, H. Q., & Murray. S. V. (1997). Vital involvement: An overlooked source of identity in frail elders. Journal of Aging and Identity, 2 (3), 205-223.

  5. Degenholtz, H. Kane, R. A., & Kivnick, H. Q. (1997). Care-related preferences and values of elderly community-based LTC consumers: Can case managers learn what's important to clients? The Gerontologist, 17 (6), 767-776.

  6. Kivnick, H. Q., & Sinclair, H. M. (1996). Grandparenthood. In J. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Gerontology: Age, Aging, and the Aged, Volume I (pp. 611-623). New York: Academic Press.

  7. Kivnick, H. Q. (1996). Remembering and being remembered: The reciprocity of psychosocial legacy. Generations, 20 (3), 49-53.

  8. Kivnick, H. Q., & Jernstedt, H. L. (1996). Mama still sparkles: An elder role model in long-term care. Marriage and Family Review, 24 (1,2), 123-164.

  9. Kane, R. A., Penrod, J. D., &&Kivnick, H. Q. (1994). Case managers discuss ethics: Dilemmas or an emerging occupation in long-term care. Journal of Case Management, 3 (1), 3-12.

  10. Kane, R. A., Penrod, J. D., & Kivnick, H. Q. (1993). Ethics and case management: Preliminary results of an empirical study. In R. A. Kane and A. L. Caplan (Eds.) Ethical conflicts in the management of home care: The case manager's dilemma pp. 7-25. New York: Springer Publishing Co.

  11. Kivnick, H. Q. (1993) Everyday mental health: A guide to assessing life strengths. Generations, 17 (1), 13-20.

  12. Bader, J., & Kivnick, H. Q. (1993). Career age. In R. Kastenbaum (Ed.), The encyclopedia of adult development (pp. 55-57). Phoenix, AZ: The Oryx Press.

  13. Kivnick, H. Q. (1993). Intimacy and isolation under apartheid: A psychosocial consideration. In G. H. Pollock & S. I . Greenspan (Eds.), The course of life (6) pp. 227-242. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.