This article advances understanding of social work science by examining the content and methods of highly utilized or cited journal articles in social work.
A data base of the 100 most frequently cited articles from 79 social work journals was coded and categorized into three primary domains: content, research versus nonresearch, and, for research articles only, method used.
Findings show that knowledge utilization occurs on a conceptual level (related to professional developments, theory, and service needs of specific populations) as well as an instrumental level (such as related to intervention effectiveness). Fifty-one percent of highly cited articles were empirical and, of these, 33% relied on descriptive methods, 45% on explanatory methods, and 22% on control methods used primarily to study intervention effectiveness.
Operationalizing the utilization of scientific knowledge in terms of the demand for specific journal articles reveals the content and methodological domains that characterize extant social work science. Six strategies in research, practice, and education are proposed to advance the further development of social work science.
This article reviews the origins, conceptual bases, psychometric properties, and limitations of consumer satisfaction measures in social welfare and behavioral health. Based on a systematic review of research reports published between 2003 and 2013, we identify 58 consumer satisfaction measures. On average, these measures have acceptable reliability (mean Cronbach’s α = .85). However, the research on the concurrent and predictive validity of consumer satisfaction is inconclusive. We identify the following three core aspects of consumer satisfaction: (a) satisfaction with alternative elements of service, (b) promotion or recommendation of a program based on a recent service experience, and (c) subjective appraisal of change or problem resolution related to participation in a service. Attrition bias, reactivity, and confounding of ratings with the image of service providers complicate and condition the interpretation of consumer satisfaction as an outcome measure.
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the bibliometric contributions of high-impact social work faculty.
Toward this end, we used a sample comprising fellows (N = 143) affiliated with the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW). To quantify impact, we relied primarily upon the h-index (a measure of lifetime scholarly impact) and the m-index (which adjusts for career length).
Analyses revealed the mean h-index value for SSWR fellows (M = 26.44, SD = 14.72) was substantially lower than the mean for AASWSW fellows (M = 32.52, SD = 15.96), but minimal differences existed in m-index values. H- and m-index values for the 40 highest impact scholars ranged, respectively, from 33 to 93 and 1.13 to 3.33.
The results indicate the social work profession includes many researchers who are making an exceptional scientific impact.
Using the Head Start Impact Study data, this study examines Head Start’s impacts on social–emotional outcomes for children with disabilities.
Among 4,442 children, 570 children were reported to have disabilities. Ordinary least squares regression was used to determine whether the number of disabilities, having an individualized education plan (IEP), and receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) affect social–emotional outcomes for children with disabilities and whether Head Start’s impact differs depending on these factors.
Children with multiple disabilities, an IEP, and SSI had lower social–emotional scores. Head Start impact was found for the following subgroups: children with no disabilities, children who never received an IEP, children living in a higher income household, and Black children.
Head Start should identify potential disabilities early and support the provision of adequate services to increase social–emotional outcomes for children with disabilities.