The influence of clinical social work psychotherapists' attitude towards the elderly client on practice decisions

Ellen Iris Gussaroff, Fordham University

Abstract

The underservice by the mental health profession of the elderly population is an ongoing concern, especially since this population is expected to reach 20 percent of our country's total population, in the next decade. Attitude of the clinician has long been considered one of the explanations for this lack of use. However, studies using only clinical social workers with considerable clinical experience has been rare. This explanatory study looked at the influence of clinical social work psychotherapists' attitude on practice decisions as well as looking at knowledge about the aging process.^ The study population included a purposive sample of The New York State Society of Clinical Social Work Psychotherapists. Data was collected with a mailed questionnaire consisting of the following sections: (1) personal and professional characteristics of the social work psychotherapist; (2) attitudes toward the elderly: (3) knowledge about the elderly; and (4) six vignettes describing six elderly clients, three men and three women, with assorted psychological problems and questions related to case disposition, type of treatment offered and psychodynamic diagnosis of the elderly client.^ Data were analyzed using univariate analysis, bivariate analysis, and multivariate analysis. Analysis suggests that social work psychotherapists attitude towards the elderly, in addition with knowledge, personal and professional characteristics influences practice decisions. ^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Social work

Recommended Citation

Gussaroff, Ellen Iris, "The influence of clinical social work psychotherapists' attitude towards the elderly client on practice decisions" (1992). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9501433.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9501433

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