Values, attitudes and locus -of -control of graduate social work students and their relationship to choice of a practice specialization

Evelyn Joyce Smith, Fordham University

Abstract

This descriptive, quasi-experimental design study looked at the persona of the worker, that is, the social values, humanistic attitudes, and locus of control of social work students, to see the relationship in their choice of a field of practice. Data was collected at the beginning of the 1988-1989 academic year from 243 graduate social work students at Forham University Graduate School of Social Service, New York. The instruments used were Meyer's "Social Values Test", Howard and Flaitz's "Social Ideology Scale", and Rotter's "Internal-External Locus of Control Scale." Findings revealed that all the social work students, regardless of their choice of a field of practice, had a value and attitude position consistent with that espoused by professional social workers. They measured liberal points of view on social values; they held to high positive humanistic attitudes regarding their concern for Social Justice, Individual Freedom, Human Nature, and Human Rights; they believed in an internal Locus of Control. Significant relationships were found between the demographics of the students and their values and attitudes; significant relationships were found between the demographics of the students and their choice of a practice specialization. Results showed that there were significant relationships among students, who chose a Family and Children field of practice, and their age, gender, race, religion, campus, and method of concentration on values and attitudes. Students who chose a Mental Health field had significant relationships among their age, gender, race, religion, and method of concentration on value and attitudes. Significant relationships were found among students in a Gerontology/Health field and their gender, race, religion, campus, year in field placement, and method of concentration and their values and attitudes. Students in an Occupational field measured significant relationships among their age, gender, race, religion, year in field placement and method of concentration on values and attitudes. Implications for social work and recommendations for further research were discussed. ^

Subject Area

Social work

Recommended Citation

Smith, Evelyn Joyce, "Values, attitudes and locus -of -control of graduate social work students and their relationship to choice of a practice specialization" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9015954.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9015954

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