Social Work Research

Licensing Information

This text was adapted by #OpenCourseWare under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Chapter 1: Introduction to Research

  • How do social workers know what to do?
  • Science and social work
  • Why should we care?
  • Understanding research

Chapter 2: Linking Methods with Theory

  • Micro, meso, and macro approaches
  • Paradigms, theories, and how they shape a researcher’s approach
  • Inductive and deductive reasoning

Chapter 3: Ethics in Social Work Research

  • Research on humans
  • Specific ethical issues to consider
  • Ethics at micro, meso, and macro levels
  • The practice of science versus the uses of science

Chapter 4: Design and Causality

  • Types of research
  • Causality
  • Unit of analysis and unit of observation
  • Mixed methods

Chapter 5: Defining and Measuring Concepts

  • Measurement
  • Conceptualization
  • Levels of measurement
  • Operationalization
  • Measurement quality
  • Challenges in quantitative measurement

Chapter 6: Sampling

  • Basic concepts of sampling
  • Nonprobability sampling
  • Probability sampling
  • Critical thinking about samples

Chapter 7: Survey Research

  • Survey research: What is it and when should it be used?
  • Assessing survey research
  • Types of surveys
  • Designing effective questions and questionnaires

Chapter 8: Experimental Design

  • Experimental design: What is it and when should it be used?
  • Quasi-experimental and pre-experimental designs
  • The logic of experimental design

Chapter 9: Unique Features of Qualitative Research

  • Qualitative research: What is it and when should it be used?
  • Qualitative interviews
  • Issues to consider for all interview types
  • Types of qualitative research designs
  • Spotlight on UTA School of Social Work
  • Analyzing qualitative data

Chapter 10: Unobtrusive Research

  • Unobtrusive research: What is it and when should it be used?
  • Strengths and weaknesses of unobtrusive research
  • Unobtrusive data collected by the researcher
  • Secondary data analysis

Chapter 11: Real-World Research

  • Evaluation research
  • Single-subjects design
  • Action research

Chapter 12: Reporting Research

  • What to share and why we share
  • Disseminating your findings
  • The uniqueness of the social work perspective on science