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Judith R. Smith

GSS Judith Smith

Associate Professor
Phone: 212-636-6643
Office: Lincoln Center 719D


BA, Antioch College

MSW, Adelphi

PhD, Columbia

Research Interests

Intergenerational family relationships


Elder abuse

Early child development


Judith R. Smith is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Social Services at Fordham University. She has published extensively on the effects of poverty on young children and their mothers, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. More recently, she has used qualitative methods to study the parent/child relationship in later life. She is interested in understanding the experience of older women who have “difficult” adult children who have turned to their mothers for emotional and financial support. Her most recent publications examine the intersection of elder abuse and gender.

Prof. Smith teaches in both the Foundation and Advanced Clinical courses. She teaches courses that address human development across the life course. She teaches both “Relational Practice with children, adolescents, and adults” as well as “Practice with older adults and their families”. She is the Chair of the online faculty committee and developed and teaches Human Behavior and the Social Environment as an online course.

Prof. Smith has worked as a clinical social worker in private practice and has produced films on early child development and films for social work education.

Selected Publications

Smith, J.R. (2015). Expanding constructions of elder abuse: Older mother’s subjective experiences. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 27, 4-5.

Smith, J.R. (2013). Students’ role confusion when working with older adults: The voices of Foundation students. Journal of Social Work Education, 49, 250-264.

Smith, J.R. (2012). Listening to older adult parents of adult children with mental illness. Journal of Family Social Work, 15, 126-140.

Smith, J.R. (2012). Human behavior and the social environment and social systems theory: Exploring macro systems. Developing Images: NY. DVD.

Smith, J.R. (2007). Becoming a social worker with older adults. Developing Images: NY. DVD.

Smith, J.R. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003). How mothers cope when their welfare grant is cut. Social Policy Journal,1, 4, 63-83.

Smith, J.R. (2002). Commitment to mothering and preference for employment: The voices of women on public assistance with young children. Journal of Children and Poverty, 8 (1), 111-126.

Smith, J.R., Broorks-Gunn, J. Kohen, D., & McCarton, C. (2001). Transitions On and Off AFDC: Implications for parenting and children’s cognitive development. Child Development, 72 (5), 1512-1533.

Duncan, G.J., Yeung, W., Brooks-Gunn, J & Smith, J.R. (1998). Does Childhood Poverty Affect the Life Chances of Children? American Sociological Review, 63, 406-423.

Smith, J.R., Brooks-Gunn, J. & Klebanov, P. (1997). Consequences of Living in Poverty for Young Children’s Cognitive and Verbal Ability and School Readiness. In G. Duncan & J. Brooks-Gunn (Eds.). Growing Up Poor ( pp. 132- 189). NY: Russell Sage.

Educational Films

Human Behavior and the Social Environment and Social Systems Theory: A Video Toolkit
Executive Producer and Director
Developing Images, 2012
Developing Images: NY

Becoming a Social Worker
Executive Producer, Director and Editor
Developing Images, 2007
Educational film that illustrates dilemmas of beginning social work students as they engage with actual clients.

Welfare-to-Work: Through the Eyes of Mothers
Executive Producer
Rockland Department of Social Services, 2001
A twenty-minute video on the experiences of mothers with young children as they transition from welfare-to-work.

The Mother's Center
Co-Producer, Director and Editor
Family Service Association, 1985
A twenty minute videotape illustrating the philosophy and implementation of a neighborhood program for young mothers.

The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant
Post-Production Producer and Director
The Margaret S. Mahler Psychiatric Research Foundation, 1983
A series of three films illustrating infant development within the first three years of life.