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Research Methods for Social Work
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Research Methods for Social Work
A Problem-Based Approach

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January 2020 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Research Methods for Social Work: A Problem-Based Approach is a comprehensive introduction to methods instruction that engages students innovatively and interactively. Using a problem-based learning (PBL) approach, authors Antoinette Y. Farmer and G. Lawrence Farmer utilize case examples to achieve a level of application which builds readers’ confidence in methodology and reinforces their understanding of research across all levels of social work practice. These case examples, along with critical thinking questions, research tips, and step-by-step problem-solving methods, will improve student mastery and help them see why research is relevant. With the guidance of this new and noteworthy textbook, readers will transform into both knowledgeable consumers of research and skilled practitioners who can effectively address the needs of their clients through research.

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Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1. Evidence-Based Practice
PBL Case 1: Neighborhood House and Social Isolation

 
Introduction

 
Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice

 
Ways of Acquiring Knowledge

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Note

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
 
Chapter 2. Research Ethics
PBL Case 2: Can I Really Conduct This Research Study?

 
Introduction

 
The Belmont Report

 
Institutional Review Board

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Note

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 3. The Research Process
PBL Case 3: Predictors of Bullying Behaviors

 
Introduction

 
Why Is Learning About Research Important for Your Professional Development?

 
What Is the Purpose of Research?

 
What Is Research Design?

 
The Research Process

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
 
Chapter 4. Problem Formulation
PBL Case 4: Can I Really Conduct This Research Study?

 
Introduction

 
Problem Formulation Defined

 
The Importance of Conducting a Literature Review

 
Ethics and the Study Design

 
Diversity and the Research Question

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 5. Measurement
PBL Case 5: Should Maggie Really Be Using This Measure to Assess Kim’s Concerns?

 
Introduction

 
Measurement Defined

 
Conceptual Versus Operational Definition

 
Levels of Measurement

 
Sources of Measurement Error

 
Reliability and Validity

 
Selecting Standardized Measures

 
Constructing Measurement Instruments

 
Ethics and Measurement

 
Diversity and Measurement

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 6. Experimental Designs
PBL Case 6: Is This Parenting Program Effective for Adolescent Fathers?

 
Introduction

 
Experimental Research Designs Defined

 
Types of Experimental Research Designs

 
Ethics and Experimental Designs

 
Diversity and Experimental Designs

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 7. Quasi-Experimental Designs
PBL Case 7: What Are the Effects of a Diversion Program on Rearrest Rates, Re-Incarceration, and Mental Health Functioning?

 
Introduction

 
Quasi-Experimental Designs Defined

 
Types of Quasi-Experimental Designs

 
Ethics and Quasi-Experimental Designs

 
Diversity and Quasi-Experimental Designs

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 8. Qualitative Research
PBL Case 8: What Are the Perceptions of African American Adolescent Males About the Police?

 
Introduction

 
Qualitative Research Defined

 
Sampling Strategies Used in Qualitative Research

 
Types of Qualitative Research

 
Criteria for Ensuring the Trustworthiness of the Data

 
Ethics and Qualitative Research

 
Diversity and Qualitative Research

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 9. Mixed-Methods Research
PBL Case 9: An Evaluation of an Intervention Designed to Increase Knowledge About Opioids

 
Introduction

 
Mixed-Methods Research Defined

 
Sampling Strategies Used in Mixed-Methods Research

 
Ethics and Mixed-Methods Research

 
Diversity and Mixed-Methods Research

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 10. Observational Research
PBL Case 10: Prenatal Opioid Exposure: Implications for Children and Their Families

 
Introduction

 
Observational Research Defined

 
Types of Observational Research Designs

 
Ethics and Observational Research

 
Diversity and Observational Research

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 11. Sampling
PBL Case 11: Predictors of Bullying Behaviors: Variations Across Gender

 
Introduction

 
Terminology

 
Types of Sampling Strategies

 
Reasons Why Samples May Differ From the Population

 
Criteria for Evaluating the Quality of a Sample

 
Ethics and Sampling

 
Diversity and Sampling

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 12. Survey Research
PBL Case 12: Opioid Knowledge Among Older Adults

 
Introduction

 
Survey Research Defined

 
Sources of Errors Affecting Survey Research

 
Design Phases of the Survey

 
Methods of Data Collection Used in Survey Research

 
Response Rate

 
Ethics and Survey Research

 
Diversity and Survey Research

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 13. Quantitative Data Analysis
PBL Case 13: Is This Parenting Program Effective for Adolescent Fathers?

 
Introduction

 
What Type of Statistical Analysis Is Appropriate for Analyzing Your Data?

 
Key Statistics Concepts

 
Levels of Measurement

 
Coding of the Data

 
Statistical Analyses Used to Describe Data

 
Statistical Analyses Used to Assess the Degree of Relationship Among Variables

 
Statistical Analyses Used to Assess Significance of Group Differences

 
Ethics and Quantitative Data Analysis

 
Diversity and Quantitative Data Analysis

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 14. Qualitative Data Analysis
PBL Case 14: What Are the Perceptions of African American Adolescent Males About Police Brutality?

 
Introduction

 
Qualitative Data Analysis Defined

 
Phases of the Qualitative Data Analysis Process

 
Coding of the Data

 
Types of Qualitative Analyses

 
Criteria for Ensuring the Trustworthiness of the Data

 
Ethics and Qualitative Data Analysis

 
Diversity and Qualitative Data Analysis

 
Computer Programs for Qualitative Data

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 15. Single-Case Design Evaluation
PBL Case 15: Is Peer Mentoring Effective?

 
Introduction

 
Single-Case Design Evaluation Defined

 
What Needs to Be Done Prior to Conducting a Single-Case Design

 
Phases of the Single-Case Design Evaluation Process

 
Types of Single-Case Designs

 
Graphing and Analyzing the Data

 
Ethics and Single-Case Design Evaluation

 
Diversity and Single-Case Design Evaluation

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 16. Program Evaluation
PBL Case 16: Is Peer Mentoring Effective?

 
Introduction

 
Program Evaluation Defined

 
Program Logic Model

 
Types of Program Evaluations

 
Structure of an Evaluation Report

 
Ethics and Program Evaluation

 
Diversity and Program Evaluation

 
Summary, Review, and Assignments

 
Chapter Summary Organized by Learning Objectives

 
Key Terms

 
Competency Notes

 
Assessment Questions

 
End-of-Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Appendix: Guidelines for Writing a Research Proposal
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Student Resource Site
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  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time — anywhere, anytime;
  • learning objectives that reinforce the most important material; and
  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention.
 
Instructor Resource Site
SAGE Edge for instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:
  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources;  
  • test banks that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;
  • sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses that provide suggested models for structuring your courses;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions; 
  • chapter-specific discussion questions help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content; and
  • engaging class activities reinforce concepts for students.

“The authors have proposed a very innovative way to make research understandable and interesting to an audience that doesn’t typically enjoy the research process. The problem-based learning model will engage students and challenge them to think about research in ways that many of them previously hadn’t thought about it.”

Juan J. Barthelemy
Louisiana State University

Research Methods for Social Work Practice is a new take on the standard research text. This text incorporates a problem-based learning approach to addressing research content along with case studies to facilitate understanding of research content.”

Patricia Saleeby
Southern Illinois University

“This text is student-friendly and offer students immediate answers related to why and how research is relevant and required in the social work profession. From my review, I believe Research Methods for Social Work Practice may be exactly what we've needed in our program.”

Sonja V. Harry
Winston-Salem State University
Key features
KEY FEATURES:
  • Learning objectives and competency grids guide students through each chapter and illustrate how the content is applied to the relevant, updated EPAS competency practice behaviors.
  • Case studies open every chapter and include steps on applying the steps of problem-based learning (PBL) to real-life case scenarios students may encounter in a professional social work setting.
  • Application Checkpoints, tied to chapter case studies, are integrated throughout each chapter allowing students to apply what they learned, enhancing their critical thinking skills and competencies.
  • Research tables and figures, such as SPSS screenshots, allow students to see the breakdown of research activities.
  • Content on diversity and ethics is integrated throughout, ensuring students understand that diversity and ethics must be considered throughout the entire research process.
  • Step-by-step instructions on various analyses in quantitative methods provide guidance.
  • Summary, Review and Assignment sections at the end of each chapter provide ample opportunities for further reinforcement of learning objectives and review of the research process through assignable assessment questions and additional recommended readings.  
 

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