ERIC Number: EJ901763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
What Types of Designs Are We Using in Social Work Research and Evaluation?
Holosko, Michael J.
Research on Social Work Practice, v20 n6 p665-673 Nov 2010
This article addresses a void in the literature about social work research and evaluation (R&E) designs, in particular related to the quality of its published work. Data were collected by reviewing three empirically oriented journals, "Research on Social Work Practice", "Journal of Social Service Research", and "Social Work Research" over three publication years 2005, 2006, and 2007. A total of N = 329 articles were content analyzed accordingly: research versus nonresearch, designs used, design objectives, sample sizes, primary statistics used, and outcomes. Main findings were (a) social work's R&E is uniquely characterized by a cohort of nonresearch studies, which assist in understanding our empirically published work; (b) the most frequently used designs were preexperimental (82.2%) and least frequently used were experimental (2.3%); (c) design objectives were equally dispersed across exploration, variable relationships, instrument development, and program/evaluation; (d) primary statistics used were parametric (82.2%); and (e) 96.7% of the studies specified outcomes within them. Implications are directed to better understanding the context of where social work R&E is conducted, not apologizing for the designs the author uses, and how one can and should strengthen our study designs to offset their concerns. (Contains 3 tables.)
Descriptors: Social Work, Journal Articles, Literature Reviews, Social Science Research, Program Evaluation, Program Design, Research Design, Research Methodology, Educational Quality, Theory Practice Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A