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ERIC Number: EJ800249
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-8046
Conation: A Missing Link in the Strengths Perspective
Gerdes, Karen E.; Stromwall, Layne K.
Social Work, v53 n3 p233-242 Jul 2008
"Conation" is action derived from instinct, purposeful mode of striving, volition. It is a conscious effort to carry out self-determined acts and, as such, may result in the same goal being approached by different individuals through the use of different actions. It is a critical, yet neglected aspect of the "tripartite" human mind, which is composed of cognitive, affective, and conative elements. Because most social workers are not familiar with the concept, client behavior that represents action toward a goal might not be understood or might be misunderstood. A true strengths-based approach to social work requires this understanding. The authors use case studies to describe conation and to demonstrate its applicability. They present examples of how clients' and social workers' conative ability are important to the assessment and intervention process and describe implications for research.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A