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MyLab Education with Pearson Enhanced eText -- Access Card -- for Research Methods for Social Workers

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Package
  • Copyright: 2017-04-26
  • Publisher: Pearson
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For courses in Research Methods in Social Work.

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Helps current and future social work professionals become evidence-based practitioners.

Research Methods for Social Workers, Eighth Edition is written in a crisp, straightforward style and refers to contemporary social work practice on virtually every page. Examples are real and reflect situations that social workers encounter every day. The authors present research as a logical, non-intimidating activity that is inextricably linked to social work practice. The text contains no unnecessary research terminology or references to obscure understanding, and necessary terminology is italicized and explained. Even students with no prior research background will find it interesting and easy to understand.


All content is consistent with both current Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards and curriculum policy guidelines. This revision is now a part of Pearson Education’s Connecting Core Competencies series–comprised of foundation-level texts that foster student success in learning the core competencies as stated in 2015 by the Council on Social Work Education.

Author Biography

Bonnie L. Yegidis, Ph. D., MSW    
Bonnie Yegidis is Professor and Director of the School of Social Work at the University of South Florida, Tampa.  She teaches in the research methods and social work practice sequences in the School, and has conducted research on family violence, cross-cultural issues in social work practice, and evidence based social work practice.  Dr. Yegidis earned her MSW degree from West Virginia University and her Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Measurement and Evaluation, from the University of South Florida. She is the recipient of a number of awards and honors including Social Worker of the Year from the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and the Distinguished Alum Award from West Virginia University. 

Robert  W. Weinbach, Ph.D., MSW
Bob Weinbach is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where he continues to teach graduate level research courses in the College of Social Work. He is also the first author of Statistics for Social Workers, Eighth EditionThe Social Worker as Manager, Sixth Edition;  and is the author of Evaluating Social Work Services and Programs (all published by Allyn & Bacon), as well as over 75 other  publications and invited book chapters. He earned graduate degrees in social work from SUNY-Buffalo and Ohio State University and has worked in both medical and psychiatric social work practice and as a program evaluator.


Laura L. Myers, Ph.D., MSW    
Laura Myers is an Associate Professor and BSW Program Director at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, FL. Laura received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy and completed her coursework and Master’s thesis in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Southern Mississippi. After several years of computer consulting for accounting firms, she returned to school to complete her M.S.W. and Ph.D. in Social Work at the University of Georgia. Laura lives in Tallahassee with her husband, Dr. Bruce Thyer, and their four children, John, William, Joseph, and Cynthia. Laura is interested in research, scholarly writing, human diversity and social discrimination, eating disorders, and social work and spirituality.

Table of Contents

Brief Table of Contents

1. Toward Evidence-Based Practice  

2. Ethical Issues in Research 

3. Developing Research Problems and Research Questions 

4. Conducting the Literature Review and Developing Research Hypotheses

5. Quantitative Research

6. Qualitative Research Methods  

7. Evaluating Programs  

8. Evaluating Individual Practice Effectiveness 

9. Sampling Issues and Options  

10. Measurement Concepts and Issues 

11. Methods for Acquiring Research Data 

12. Data Collection Instruments  

13. Analyzing Data  

14. Writing the Research Report and Disseminating Research Findings  

Detailed Table of Contents


1. Toward Evidence-Based Practice  

Historical Antecedents  

Evidence-Based Practice  

      Research and Practice: More Similar Than Different  

Sources of Knowledge

      Alternative Knowledge Sources  

      Faulty Knowledge Can Promote Stereotypes  

      The Scientific Alternative  

Categorizations of Research

      Types of Knowledge Derived From Scientific Research

      Basic and Applied Research  

      Quantitative and Qualitative Research  

The Current Climate for Social Work Research  


Chapter Review

2. Ethical Issues in Research 

What Are Ethics? 

Examples of Research Participant Abuse 

      The Nazi and Japanese Medical Experiments 

      The Tuskegee Public Health Studies 

      The Milgram Studies of Obedience to Authority

      The Stanford Prison Experiment

      The Laud Humphreys Studies of Homosexual Behavior

     The Willowbrook Hepatitis Study

Today’s Standards for Protection of Research Participants  

      Institutional Review Boards 

      Voluntary Informed Consent

      No Unnecessary Pain and Suffering 


      Need to Conduct the Research

Contemporary Issues Related to Research “Volunteers”  

      Are Research Volunteers Truly Voluntary?  

      Dual-Role Relationships  

      Using Deception in Research

      Withholding Treatment and Use of Placebos 

      Availability of Experimental Interventions 

Other Ethical Obligations of Social Work Researchers 


Chapter Review

3. Developing Research Problems and Research Questions 

Why We Begin with Research Problems 

Identifying Potential Research Problems 

      Setting Problem Priorities 

      Identifying and Specifying the Research Problem  

Developing Research Questions 

Qualitative versus Quantitative Questions 

      Developing Quantitative Research Questions

      Developing Qualitative Research Questions

      Qualitative versus Quantitative Research Process


Chapter Review

4.  Conducting the Literature Review and Developing Research Hypotheses

What Is a Review of Literature? 

Purposes of a Review of Literature

Potential Sources for the Literature Review

      Popular Sources

      Other, More Questionable Sources

Using Internet Searches to Locate Information Sources

Focused Research Questions

Research Hypotheses

      Related Definitions

      Types of Relationships between Variables

      Types of Research Hypotheses

      When Are Research Hypotheses Appropriate?

      Wording of Research Hypotheses


Chapter Review

5. Quantitative Research

What Is a Research Design?  

Categorizations of Research Designs  

Cross-Sectional, Pretest-Posttest, and Longitudinal Designs  

     Cross-Sectional Design

     Pretest-Posttest Design

     Longitudinal Design

Exploratory, Descriptive, and Explanatory Studies  

      Exploratory Research  

      Descriptive Research  

      Explanatory Research  

Pre-Experimental, Experimental, and Quasi-Experimental Designs  

      Pre-experimental Designs  

      Experimental Designs  

      Quasi-Experimental Designs  

Characteristics of a Good Research Design  

      Internal Validity  

      External Validity  


Chapter Review

6. Qualitative Research Methods  

Key Characteristics of Qualitative Research

Observer-Participant Role

Qualitative Research Techniques

     Sampling Techniques

     Data Collection Techniques

     Data Analysis Techniques

Qualitative Research Paradigms

     The Case Study

     Grounded Theory

     Ethnographic Research

     Cross-Cultural Research

     Feminist Research

     Participatory Action Research

Evaluation Criteria for Qualitative Research  


Chapter Review

7. Evaluating Programs  

Systematic Reviews


What is Program Evaluation?

     Use of Logic Models

     Why we Conduct Program Evaluations

     Historical Background

Types of Program Evaluations

     Needs Assessments

     Formative Evaluations

     Outcome Evaluations

Issues involved in Conducting Program Evaluations

     Determining the Appropriate Design

     Who Conducts Program Evaluations?

     Participating in Program Evaluations

     Other Ethical Issues


Chapter Review

8. Evaluating Individual Practice Effectiveness 

Supervisor Feedback

Consumer Feedback

Goal Attainment Scaling

Single-System Evaluation

     Differences between Group Designs and Single-System Evaluation Designs


     When are Single-System Evaluations Appropriate?

     Elements of Single-System Evaluations

     Single-System Evaluation Designs

     Strengths and Weaknesses of Single-System Evaluations

     Ethical Issues


Chapter Review

9. Sampling Issues and Options  



      Universe, Theoretical Population, and Accessible Population  

      Sampling Frame  




      Sampling Error  

      Sampling Bias  

      Statistic and Parameter  

      Random Selection  

      Random Sample  

      Summary of Terms  

Probability Sampling  

       Simple Random Sampling 

      Systematic Random Sampling  

      Stratified Sampling 

      Cluster Sampling  

Nonprobability Sampling 

      Convenience Sampling  

      Purposive Sampling  

      Snowball Sampling  

      Quota Sampling  

Selecting a Good Sample

      Available Resources  

      Overall Design and Purpose of the Study

      Statistical Analyses to Be Used 

      The Importance of Sample Representativeness


Chapter Review

10. Measurement Concepts and Issues 

What Is Measurement in Research?  

Preparation for Measurement  



Levels of Measurement  

      Nominal Level  

     Ordinal Level  

      Interval Level 

      Ratio Level  

      More on Levels of Measurement 

Criteria for Good Measurement 



Sources of Measurement Error 


Chapter Review

11. Methods for Acquiring Research Data 

Secondary Data Analysis  


      Different Uses  

      Tasks Required  



Oral Histories  

Client Logs

Systematic Observation  

      Unstructured Observation

      Structured Observation  


      Potential for Distortion  

      Identity of the Participant  

      Return Rate  

      Response Bias  


      In-Person Interviews

      Group Interviews

      Telephone Interviews

Electronic Communications  


Chapter Review

12. Data Collection Instruments  

Fixed-Alternative and Open-Ended Items  

Composite Indexes and Scales  

      Composite Indexes  


Using Existing Data Collection Instruments  

Revising Existing Data Collection Instruments  

Constructing New Data Collection Instruments  

      Issues in Development  

Use of Self-Administered Data Collection Instruments  


      Supervised Administration  


Chapter Review

13. Analyzing Data  

The Data in Perspective  

Preparing for Data Analysis  

Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis

      Qualitative Analysis  

      Quantitative Analysis  

Uses of Statistical Analyses 

      Designing Research

      Summarizing the Distribution of Variables

      Estimating the Characteristics of a Population

      Answering Research Questions and Testing Hypotheses 

Interpreting and Reporting the Results  


Chapter Review

14. Writing the Research Report and Disseminating Research Findings  

Main Sections of the Research Report




     Review of the Literature

     Statement of Research Questions and Hypotheses





     Recommendations for Future Research, Implications for Social Work, and Conclusions

     References and Appendices

Quantitative versus Qualitative Research Reports

Referencing in a Research Report

Role of Researcher in the Research Report

Disseminating Research Findings

     Internal Correspondence and In-Service Training

     Professional Conferences

     Professional Journals

     Monographs, Dissertations, and Theses


Chapter Review


Photo Credits  


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