Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Carol F. Kuechler

Abstract

There have been few studies completed exploring the ideas of feminism in the current context of social work practice from the perspective of social workers. For this study, 23 licensed MN social workers completed a survey exploring to what level social workers relate to four perspectives of feminism (liberal, radical, socialist and women of color/womanist), and how these perspectives impact their problem identification, assessment, treatment strategies and treatment goals in social work practice. This research used a portion of the Feminist Perspective Scale (Henley, et al, 1998) to determine the feminist perspective used by the social workers. The feminist perspectives used in this study were liberal, radical, socialist and womanist. Additionally, practice methods hypothesized to be used by social workers based on their feminist perspectives as hypothesized by Nes and Iadicola, (1989) were used to create exploratory social work practice method subscales. Findings showed a statistically significant relationship between the radical, socialist and womanist feminist perspectives and the social work practice methods of problem identification, assessment, treatment strategies and treatment goals. These correlations and the limited recent research completed on this topic show the importance of completing updated research on the feminist perspectives used by social workers and the impact it has on social work practice.

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