Theories In Social Work

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Theories are general explanations that are supported by evidence obtained through the scientific method and are utilized in all domains of social and psychology practices. By observing people scientifically, the social worker can obtain systematic descriptions of human tendencies and differences among people and their environments. This paper will highlight two key theories used in both historically and contemporary social work. Next, a description of the main research areas and methods used within the field of social work are defined and described providing an explanation of how these methods are used to guide research. Finally, research that pertains to modern advances in the field of social work is summarized.

Theories and Research Methods
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In essence, the concept of ecology views human development in the context of their relationship with the environment. It is the understanding of human behavior from a historical, cultural, and biological perspective which may have been integrated into their present circumstances. In addition, the theory views the individual as the cause and effect of their situation and believes that each change the individual makes causes a reactive change within their environments (Friedman & Allen, 2011). Germain applied important concepts into the theory to enhance its effectiveness within the social work profession. These concepts are associated with person-in-environment interactions: adaption, life stress, coping, power, and human relatedness (Friedman & Allen, 2011). The ecosystem perspective provides social workers an interactional view of the individual or family within the context of their environment to allow the worker to provide the tools for support and growth (Friedman & Allen, 2011). Because of its effectiveness, this theory is still the most popular and widely used in the present day. Since the focus of this theory is an organized method of displaying the interaction between the person and their environment, other essential theories such as the psychodynamic theory are …show more content…
Some of the major areas of research used for social work are mental health and addictions, assessment and diagnosis, and human development (Michigan Civil Service Commission, 2015). Social workers seek to improve the quality of life of individuals, families, groups, communities through research, policy, and intervention. The main research methods used within the social work profession are case study research and correlational research (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). Case study research involves research on a small group of individuals, organizations, schools, or events (President & Fellows Harvard University, 2008). Data is gathered by means of interviews, observations, audio and video, and document collection. The goal of the researcher is the gathering of data for evidence of the researcher’s postulation of the circumstances and to provide validity to assertions made by the client(s) (President & Fellows Harvard University, 2008). Case study research aids social workers during initial assessments of interviewing individuals, families, and referral sources to evaluate risks and to assess the appropriateness of the referral of services. Also, it is necessary for social workers to evaluate and assess the client’s strengths and needs to determine the necessary level and appropriate intervention

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