Research for Social Workers: An Introduction to Methods

Alston, Margaret


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  • ISBN: 9781760297442
  • Author: Alston, Margaret
  • Publ Date: 2018-03-28
  • Edition:
  • Binding: PaperBack
  • Pages: 432
  • Imprint: ALLEN UNWIN
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Country of Publication: Australia
  • ID - 518029

Table of Contents :

Part 1: Beginning social work research 1. Social work research 2. Choosing your topic area 3. Developing research questions 4. Steps in the research process Part II: Research methods for social work 5. Sampling 6. Systematic reviews 7. Surveys and interviews 8. Assessing community needs and strengths Part III: Evaluation 9. How do I evaluate my program? 10. Action research 11. Evidence-based practice and best practice evaluation 12. Research in post-disaster recovery and other crisis situations 13. Other methods Part IV: Statistical analysis 14. Producing results: Qualitative research 15. Producing results: Quantitative research 16. Statistics for social workers: Analysis of a single variable 17. Statistics for social workers: Two or more variables Part V: Bringing it all together 18. Influencing policy and practice 19. Developing a research proposal


Research for Social Workers has built a strong reputation as an accessible guide to the key research methods and approaches used in the discipline. Ideal for beginners, the book outlines the importance of social work research, its guiding principles and explains how to choose a topic area, develop research questions together with describing the key steps in the research process. The authors outline the principles of sampling, systematic reviews and surveys and interviews, provide guidance on evaluation and statistical analysis and explain how research can influence policy and practice. This new edition includes:

an expanded discussion of rigour in qualitative research

more detailed analysis of systematic reviews

a new section on on-line surveys

enhanced examination of action research including recent examples of action research programs


an expanded section on evidence-based practice.

Featuring practical examples and end-of-chapter exercises and questions, and using non-technical language throughout, this is a vital reference tool for both students and practicing social workers.

Author Biography:

Margaret Alston OAM is Professor of Social Work at Monash University. She is Director of the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability (GLASS) research unit at Monash and has published widely in the areas of gender, social work, rural social issues and climate change. Wendy Bowles is Professor in Social Work and Human Services at Charles Sturt University. She is also co-author of Ethical Practice in Social Work: An applied approach and writes in the areas of rural social work practice and education, social work ethics and disability issues.


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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 21 June, 2018.

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