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Social Work Research and Evaluation

Social Work Research and Evaluation
Examined Practice for Action

August 2016 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Social Work Research and Evaluation applies systematically developed research knowledge to social work practice and emphasizes the “doing” of social work as a reciprocal avenue for generating research evidence and social work knowledge. Using the Examined Practice Model, authors Elizabeth G. DePoy and Stephen F. Gilson present research as the identification of a problem and then proceed to evaluate the efficacy of social work practice in its resolution. Diverse theories, actions, and sets of evidence from a range of professional and disciplinary perspectives are included to underscore the importance of integrating evaluation and practice in research.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Examined Practice
Introduction to the Rationale for the Text

Illustration of Examined Practice in Diverse Social Work Settings

Roles and Responsibilities of “Examined Practitioners”

Chapter 2: Problems, Issues and Needs (What, Why, How, When, Where)
Definition of Terms

Thinking Processes of Problem and Issue Clarification

Grounding Needs in Problem and Issues to be Resolved

Chapter 3: Setting Goals and Objectives for Reflexive Intervention
Emergence of Goals and Objectives from Needs Statement

Deriving Goals From Need Statements

Action Process of Crafting Process Objectives

Action Process of Crafting Outcome Objectives

Charting Outputs

Systematic Reflexive Intervention Processes

Using the Three Traditions (Experimental-type, Naturalistic, Mixed Methods) in Reflexive Intervention

Selecting a Tradition—Guiding Questions


Chapter 4: Exploring Outcomes
Definition of Terms

Purposes of Outcome Assessment

Worth of Social Work

Systematic Inquiry Using One or More of the Three Research Traditions

Cost of Interventions

Chapter 5: Sharing Examined Practice to Generate Social Work Knowledge
Definition of Terms

Examples of Sharing Knowledge

Sharing Social Work Knowledge

The Science-Intuition Debate

Why Share?

When to Share?

Where to Share?

How to Share?

Chapter 6: Two Design Traditions and then Mixing Them
Philosophical Foundation of Experimental-Type Research

Philosophical Foundation of Naturalistic Inquiry

Philosophical Foundation of Mixed Methods

Implications of Philosophical Differences for Systematic Inquiry in Examined Practice

Theory in Examined Practice

Integrating the Two Research Traditions

Chapter 7: The Role of Literature in Examined Practice
Purposes of Literature Review in Examined Practice

How to Conduct a Literature Search

Chapter 8: Questions, Hypotheses and Queries: The basis for Rigor Assessment
Research Questions in Experimental-Type Knowing

Level 1: Questions That Seek to Describe Phenomena

Level 2: Questions That Explore Relationships Among Phenomena

Level 3: Questions That Test Knowledge


Research Queries in Naturalistic Inquiry

Developing Naturalistic Research Queries

Integrating Research Approaches

Chapter 9: Design in Both Traditions
Specific Experimental-Type Designs

Variations of Experimental-Type Design

Geographic Analysis

Criteria for Selecting Appropriate and Adequate Experimental-Type Designs

Summary of Experimental-Type Design

Naturalistic Inquiry Designs

Narrative Inquiry

Mixed-Method Designs

Chapter 10: Setting and Protecting the Boundaries of a Study
General Guidelines for Bounding Studies

Subjects, Respondents, Informants, Participants, Locations, Conceptual Boundaries, Virtual Boundaries

Protecting Boundaries

What is an IRB and When Must It Be Involved?

Principles for Protecting Human Subjects

Full Disclosure


Voluntary Participation

The Belmont Report

Informed Consent Process

Boundary Setting in Experimental-Type Examined Practice Inquiry

Sampling Process

Probability Sampling

Nonprobability Methods

Sampling in the Virtual Environment

Comparing Sample to Population

Determining Sample Size

Boundary Setting in Naturalistic Inquiry

Guidelines for Determining “How Many”

Process of Setting Boundaries and Selecting Informants

Ethical Considerations

Summary of Naturalistic Boundary Setting

A Few Words About Mixed Methods

Chapter 11: Obtaining Information
Principles of Information Collection in All Three Traditions

Looking, Watching, Listening, Reading, and Recording


Materials, Artifacts, or Spaces

Obtaining Information in Experimental-Type Traditions

Obtaining Information in Naturalistic Traditions

Information-Gathering Processes

Information-Gathering Strategies

Recording Obtained Information

Accuracy in Collecting Information

Mixing Methods

Chapter 12: Analysis
What Is Statistical Analysis?

Level 1: Descriptive Statistics

Level 2: Drawing Inferences

Level 3: Associations and Relationships

Strategies and Stages in Naturalistic Analysis

Stage One: Inception of Inquiry

Stage Two: Formal Report Preparation

Accuracy and Rigor in Naturalistic Analysis

Chapter 13: Putting the Model to Work

Exemplar #1—Janice

Exemplar #2—Dean

Exemplar #3—TAP (Tobacco Access Portal)

Exemplar #4—Aesthetic Mobility Device Project

Exemplar #5—Workplace Accessibility


“Within my 38 years of teaching, the authors offer the most creative presentation I have ever read for a research methods text.”

Stephen Marson
Wake Forest University

“Breaks down research methods into easily digestible pieces for both instructors and students.”

Nicole M. Cavanagh
University of South Carolina

For instructors

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