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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Graduate social work students' attitudes and behaviors toward spirituality and religion: issues for education and practice.

Author: Kaplan, A.J; Dziegielewski, S.F
Author Background:
Date Spring 1999
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social-Work-and-Christianity
Volume/Pages 26(1): 25-39
Subject Matter Social-work-education; Graduate-students; Spirituality-; Religion-; Social-work-practice
Abstract This study examined attitudes of MSW students about spirituality and religion and the degree to which these attitudes were incorporated into social work practice. Eighty-four second year graduate social work students from a southeastern university were surveyed yielding a response rate of 75%. Most graduate students stated that they value the role of spirituality and religion in their personal and professional lives. Significant relationships were found between the degree of valuing spirituality and childhood religious ties, as well as valuing spirituality and the level of active participation in religious activities. These students, however, did not indicate that they were able to integrate spiritual and religious concepts in their work with clients, nor were they comfortable in doing so. Implications for social work practice and education are discussed, including the reported lack of adequate training and preparation during graduate education to deal with this issue. (Journal abstract.)