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Dr. Kathryn Krase Co-authors Article with Ph.D. Students Annette Clarke-Jones and Joyce Roberson-Steele

Dr. Kathryn Krase, associate professor of social work at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, has co-authored “Comparing Macro Influences on Individuals’ Initial Coping and Response to COVID-19 in Canada and USA” in Journal of Human Rights and Social Work (June 1, 2021). Her co-authors are Dr. Donna Wang and Karen Clark-Hoey (both from Springfield College) and Annette Clarke-Jones and Joyce Roberson-Steele (Ph.D. students at Wurzweiler).

Here is the abstract:

It is a responsibility of national leadership to provide guidance and provisions to their citizens during a pandemic. National responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly varied internationally. The purpose of this study was to compare how people in Canada and the USA coped to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an eye towards discerning if any differences relate to macro systems differences between the neighboring countries. Data were analyzed from an online, cross-sectional survey administered to people (N = 1405) living in Canada and the USA in June 2020. Significant results show that respondents from Canada were felt more prepared, adapted/coped better to the pandemic, had less life disruption, fewer challenges with healthcare and financially, and were personally less affected by the pandemic than respondents from the USA. Those from Canada also showed significant higher levels of support for both their national and provincial/state leadership and belief in the necessity of preventative measures than those in the USA. Respondents from the USA were more likely to use family and friends as a source of information and as a basis for their personal preventative practices, whereas those in Canada were more likely to follow the official government recommendations. There were no significant differences in methods of coping. These results support the need for a clear role of government and for government to respond to individuals in a way that promotes equity and social justice, and thus, ensuring human rights.

In their discussion, they noted that “overall, respondents in Canada seemed to fare better than their counterparts south of the border in the USA. Respondents from Canada felt more prepared for the pandemic, expressed adapting/coping better, experienced less disruption, and felt less personally affected by the virus than respondents from the USA. The more cohesive and unified national response in Canada could be a possible reason for this finding. The politically unified nature of the Canadian governmental response could also explain why respondents were also more satisfied with both their national and provincial leadership during the pandemic, as well as impact their higher level of trust in the preventative measures prescribed by their government.”

Roberson- Steele loved the collaborative effort of “working collectively with faculty and fellow doctoral students” and found it “a rewarding experience in several ways. We were honored to work under the tutelage of our knowledgeable and skilled professors. Their commitment to teaching us the process of scholarly writing and respecting our voice and suggestions was both elevating and empowering.” Doing this kind of work “allowed me to put theory to practice; we often learn the skills but being able to process those skills  step-by-step remains embedded forever.”

“Being the Canadian among the students,” said Clarke-Jones, “I was particularly interested in this project, and over the course of working on this article, Dr. Krase did several Zoom calls to explain the statistical analysis and how we could help to find references and as well as to assist with writing up the data. Playing a part in the publication of this article is one of the highlights of my academic journey at Wurzweiler.”