Pub. Date:
Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Research Methods for Social Workers / Edition 3

Research Methods for Social Workers / Edition 3


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For courses in Research Methods in Social Work.

Helps current and future social work professionals become evidence-based practitioners.

Research Methods for Social Workers, Eighth Edition is written in a crisp, straightforward style and refers to contemporary social work practice on virtually every page. Examples are real and reflect situations that social workers encounter every day. The authors present research as a logical, non-intimidating activity that is inextricably linked to social work practice. The text contains no unnecessary research terminology or references to obscure understanding, and necessary terminology is italicized and explained. Even students with no prior research background will find it interesting and easy to understand.

All content is consistent with both current Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards and curriculum policy guidelines. This revision is now a part of Pearson Education’s Connecting Core Competencies series–comprised of foundation-level texts that foster student success in learning the core competencies as stated in 2015 by the Council on Social Work Education.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780205281602
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Publication date: 06/19/1998
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 7.02(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.89(d)

About the Author

Bonnie L. Yegidis, Ph. D., MSW
Bonnie Yegidis is Professor and Director of the School of Social Work at the University of South Florida, Tampa. She teaches in the research methods and social work practice sequences in the School, and has conducted research on family violence, cross-cultural issues in social work practice, and evidence based social work practice. Dr. Yegidis earned her MSW degree from West Virginia University and her Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Measurement and Evaluation, from the University of South Florida. She is the recipient of a number of awards and honors including Social Worker of the Year from the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and the Distinguished Alum Award from West Virginia University.

Robert W. Weinbach, Ph.D., MSW
Bob Weinbach is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where he continues to teach graduate level research courses in the College of Social Work. He is also the first author of Statistics for Social Workers, Eighth Edition; The Social Worker as Manager, Sixth Edition; and is the author of Evaluating Social Work Services and Programs (all published by Allyn & Bacon), as well as over 75 other publications and invited book chapters. He earned graduate degrees in social work from SUNY-Buffalo and Ohio State University and has worked in both medical and psychiatric social work practice and as a program evaluator.

Laura L. Myers, Ph.D., MSW
Laura Myers is an Associate Professor and BSW Program Director at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, FL. Laura received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy and completed her coursework and Master’s thesis in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Southern Mississippi. After several years of computer consulting for accounting firms, she returned to school to complete her M.S.W. and Ph.D. in Social Work at the University of Georgia. Laura lives in Tallahassee with her husband, Dr. Bruce Thyer, and their four children, John, William, Joseph, and Cynthia. Laura is interested in research, scholarly writing, human diversity and social discrimination, eating disorders, and social work and spirituality.

Table of Contents

Brief Table of Contents

1. Toward Evidence-Based Practice

2. Ethical Issues in Research

3. Developing Research Problems and Research Questions

4. Conducting the Literature Review and Developing Research Hypotheses

5. Quantitative Research

6. Qualitative Research Methods

7. Evaluating Programs

8. Evaluating Individual Practice Effectiveness

9. Sampling Issues and Options

10. Measurement Concepts and Issues

11. Methods for Acquiring Research Data

12. Data Collection Instruments

13. Analyzing Data

14. Writing the Research Report and Disseminating Research Findings

Detailed Table of Contents

1. Toward Evidence-Based Practice

Historical Antecedents

Evidence-Based Practice

Research and Practice: More Similar Than Different

Sources of Knowledge

Alternative Knowledge Sources

Faulty Knowledge Can Promote Stereotypes

The Scientific Alternative

Categorizations of Research

Types of Knowledge Derived From Scientific Research

Basic and Applied Research

Quantitative and Qualitative Research

The Current Climate for Social Work Research


Chapter Review

2. Ethical Issues in Research

What Are Ethics?

Examples of Research Participant Abuse

The Nazi and Japanese Medical Experiments

The Tuskegee Public Health Studies

The Milgram Studies of Obedience to Authority

The Stanford Prison Experiment

The Laud Humphreys Studies of Homosexual Behavior

The Willowbrook Hepatitis Study

Today’s Standards for Protection of Research Participants

Institutional Review Boards

Voluntary Informed Consent

No Unnecessary Pain and Suffering


Need to Conduct the Research

Contemporary Issues Related to Research “Volunteers”

Are Research Volunteers Truly Voluntary?

Dual-Role Relationships

Using Deception in Research

Withholding Treatment and Use of Placebos

Availability of Experimental Interventions

Other Ethical Obligations of Social Work Researchers


Chapter Review

3. Developing Research Problems and Research Questions

Why We Begin with Research Problems

Identifying Potential Research Problems

Setting Problem Priorities

Identifying and Specifying the Research Problem

Developing Research Questions

Qualitative versus Quantitative Questions

Developing Quantitative Research Questions

Developing Qualitative Research Questions

Qualitative versus Quantitative Research Process


Chapter Review

4. Conducting the Literature Review and Developing Research Hypotheses

What Is a Review of Literature?

Purposes of a Review of Literature

Potential Sources for the Literature Review

Popular Sources

Other, More Questionable Sources

Using Internet Searches to Locate Information Sources

Focused Research Questions

Research Hypotheses

Related Definitions

Types of Relationships between Variables

Types of Research Hypotheses

When Are Research Hypotheses Appropriate?

Wording of Research Hypotheses


Chapter Review

5. Quantitative Research

What Is a Research Design?

Categorizations of Research Designs

Cross-Sectional, Pretest-Posttest, and Longitudinal Designs

Cross-Sectional Design

Pretest-Posttest Design

Longitudinal Design

Exploratory, Descriptive, and Explanatory Studies

Exploratory Research

Descriptive Research

Explanatory Research

Pre-Experimental, Experimental, and Quasi-Experimental Designs

Pre-experimental Designs

Experimental Designs

Quasi-Experimental Designs

Characteristics of a Good Research Design

Internal Validity

External Validity


Chapter Review

6. Qualitative Research Methods

Key Characteristics of Qualitative Research

Observer-Participant Role

Qualitative Research Techniques

Sampling Techniques

Data Collection Techniques

Data Analysis Techniques

Qualitative Research Paradigms

The Case Study

Grounded Theory

Ethnographic Research

Cross-Cultural Research

Feminist Research

Participatory Action Research

Evaluation Criteria for Qualitative Research


Chapter Review

7. Evaluating Programs

Systematic Reviews


What is Program Evaluation?

Use of Logic Models

Why we Conduct Program Evaluations

Historical Background

Types of Program Evaluations

Needs Assessments

Formative Evaluations

Outcome Evaluations

Issues involved in Conducting Program Evaluations

Determining the Appropriate Design

Who Conducts Program Evaluations?

Participating in Program Evaluations

Other Ethical Issues


Chapter Review

8. Evaluating Individual Practice Effectiveness

Supervisor Feedback

Consumer Feedback

Goal Attainment Scaling

Single-System Evaluation

Differences between Group Designs and Single-System Evaluation Designs


When are Single-System Evaluations Appropriate?

Elements of Single-System Evaluations

Single-System Evaluation Designs

Strengths and Weaknesses of Single-System Evaluations

Ethical Issues


Chapter Review

9. Sampling Issues and Options



Universe, Theoretical Population, and Accessible Population

Sampling Frame




Sampling Error

Sampling Bias

Statistic and Parameter

Random Selection

Random Sample

Summary of Terms

Probability Sampling

Simple Random Sampling

Systematic Random Sampling

Stratified Sampling

Cluster Sampling

Nonprobability Sampling

Convenience Sampling

Purposive Sampling

Snowball Sampling

Quota Sampling

Selecting a Good Sample

Available Resources

Overall Design and Purpose of the Study

Statistical Analyses to Be Used

The Importance of Sample Representativeness


Chapter Review

10. Measurement Concepts and Issues

What Is Measurement in Research?

Preparation for Measurement



Levels of Measurement

Nominal Level

Ordinal Level

Interval Level

Ratio Level

More on Levels of Measurement

Criteria for Good Measurement



Sources of Measurement Error


Chapter Review

11. Methods for Acquiring Research Data

Secondary Data Analysis


Different Uses

Tasks Required



Oral Histories

Client Logs

Systematic Observation

Unstructured Observation

Structured Observation


Potential for Distortion

Identity of the Participant

Return Rate

Response Bias


In-Person Interviews

Group Interviews

Telephone Interviews

Electronic Communications


Chapter Review

12. Data Collection Instruments

Fixed-Alternative and Open-Ended Items

Composite Indexes and Scales

Composite Indexes


Using Existing Data Collection Instruments

Revising Existing Data Collection Instruments

Constructing New Data Collection Instruments

Issues in Development

Use of Self-Administered Data Collection Instruments


Supervised Administration


Chapter Review

13. Analyzing Data

The Data in Perspective

Preparing for Data Analysis

Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis

Qualitative Analysis

Quantitative Analysis

Uses of Statistical Analyses

Designing Research

Summarizing the Distribution of Variables

Estimating the Characteristics of a Population

Answering Research Questions and Testing Hypotheses

Interpreting and Reporting the Results


Chapter Review

14. Writing the Research Report and Disseminating Research Findings

Main Sections of the Research Report




Review of the Literature

Statement of Research Questions and Hypotheses





Recommendations for Future Research, Implications for Social Work, and Conclusions

References and Appendices

Quantitative versus Qualitative Research Reports

Referencing in a Research Report

Role of Researcher in the Research Report

Disseminating Research Findings

Internal Correspondence and In-Service Training

Professional Conferences

Professional Journals

Monographs, Dissertations, and Theses


Chapter Review


Photo Credits


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