Social Problems

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MHS Media Center material:
Use the Database Page on the Media Center website to look up Social Issues on the following databases: PROQUEST: eLibrary and SIRS.
Look up books on the Destiny Quest OPAC On Line Catalog and OCLC First Search.

General Online Research Sources:
Multnomah Public Library in Oregon.
Then use the “filter list by issue area” drop down box to complete your search for reports and/or surveys.
Global Issues
Use our Facts on File: Issues and Controversies database. At the top of the screen click on Issues.
Counsel on Foreign Relations:

Selected Topics and Websites:
Substance Abuse:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has an extensive site at:
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) homepage is at However, you might want to directly go to for their “Facts sheets”.
Substance abuse and Mental health services administration is at .  Type in the search box “fact sheet” and a list of fact sheets will appear.

Child Abuse:
Narrow the topic down by type of child abuse to investigate. Is it physical, psychological, neglect or sexual?
Jim Hopper, Ph.D. Research Associate, Boston University School of Medicine, has several links and lots of information.
Cornell University hosts the Child Abuse Prevention Network Take a look at the map of the United States and click on Illinois.

Narrow the type of discrimination you are investigating. Is it sexual, racial, religious, employment, age, physical or mental disability.

Health Care:
Limit what health care issue you are investigating.  Is it health care rationing, health care reform, age discrimination, race, or income issues, euthanasia, organ donation, health care provision to the poor, etc.

Narrow the topic. Are you looking for the causes of poverty. Are you looking at American poverty or international poverty? Organizations fighting poverty nationally or internationally? Welfare, welfare abuse or welfare reform? The development of a “permanent underclass”?

Again, this is a broad topic; you need to limit it to an area that you can effectively research. Topics may include adult illiteracy, illiteracy programs at the local, state and national level, causes of illiteracy, social/economic relationships to illiteracy, cultural illiteracy, role of community libraries in illiteracy, etc.
This would be an excellent topic to research at the SIRS and/or eLibrary databases (on the Database page on the Media Center Website under Proquest).
The National Right to Read Foundation is at:

Focus in on a topic. Cyber crime is a hot area, as is crime prevention. Use a Google search to find statistics by using a (+statistics) after the main topic search. This would be a good place to do a beginning search in SIRS or ELibrary to find what interests you about crime and criminology.
The National Crime Prevention Council (where McGruff lives) is at Click on the links to the left to access various programs.
Dimensions of Crime as a Social Problem. Robert Harmann McNamara and Keith J. Bell

Domestic Violence:
Issues and Controversies databases (found on the Database page on the Media Center Website) would be a good place to start.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is an organization which offers several sites and resources to end domestic violence.

Assisted suicide, teen suicide, suicide prevention programs, depression as a cause of suicide, and suicide by cop are just a few of the areas to be explored.  The phrase  +risk factors could be added to a search to find checklists and surveys.  Other possible keywords to skew the information found: +statistics; +gender; +prevention; +surveys; +checklists. You find others.  Use SIRS and/or eLibrary databases (found on the Database page on the Media Center Website under Proquest) to do a beginning search.
Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Programis at
There is a large site at dealing with suicide prevention, but it is unsigned. Authority and validity is unknown of the author is unknown. Many of the links, however, go to reputable sites.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at:

Political Corruption:
Use SIRS or eLibrary under Proquest (found on the Database page on the Media Center Website) to do a beginning search. (Ex:. “Political corruption” +(country) or +(issue) or…)
A Collection of Links on politics and political corruption in relation to financial scandals.  An interesting web site with an international look at financial corruption.

Narrow it down.  Bio-terrorism, causes of terrorism, state sponsored terrorism, anti-terrorism agencies, etc. You might want to investigate how other countries have dealt with terrorism for the last 30 years. Germany, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Great Britain, Greece, Columbia, Peru and others have significant terrorists and anti-terrorism organizations. When searching, use related terms such as anti-terrorism, terrorists, counter terrorists, etc.
Use SIRS and/or eLibrary under Proquest databases (found on the Database page on the Media Center Website under Proquest) to do a beginning search.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.

Sexual Harassment:
In the workplace?  At school? On a college campus?  What constitutes sexual harassment?  You need a definition and focus.
The U. S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has a good fact sheet at:
National Women’s Law Center

Land, sea, air, freshwater, acid rain, radiation, nuclear waste, farm runoff, arctic pollution, Ozone holes, eco-terrorism, you pick your poison to narrow the topic. Use, SIRS, or ELibrary to do a beginning search. Also consult the general encyclopedias.  (Hint: use the INDEX in the encyclopedias)
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
The various state’s Environmental Protection Agency is a good location for general information. Illinois EPA is at Iowa EPA is at:
The Environmental Defense Fund is a radical (some say eco-terrorist) organization.  They have four different areas that they consider issues. Under each area there are several different issues.
The Amazing Environmental WebDirectory at is a portal site with many links to other areas.


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