Effects of Client Violence on Social Work Students: A National Study

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Pam Criss's article in the Journal of Social Work Education, titled Effects of Client Violence on Social Work Students: A National Study shows results on the effects of direct and indirect client violence against a random sample of MSW and BSW students from the National Association of Social Works in the United State. This study looks at how workplace violence is a concern for social work students entering their field placement. These types of violence may be a major factor in the student’s choice of decreased commitment to the occupation. One act of violence can lead the student to fear more acts of violence. In addition, it looks at how a social worker can be affected vicariously by hearing of colleagues being harmed or threatened. …show more content…
Included were MSW and BSW students. Racial minorities totaled one-third of the sample. Anonymity and confidentiality was sustained by numbers being assigned to each mailing and a control register was used for non-respondents to receive one additional mailing. Out of 1,500 questionnaires mailed 26 were returned undeliverable. Out of the remaining questionnaires 667 were returned out of which 71 did not meet the criteria due to the student having not started their field practicum or no longer being enrolled in a social work program. There were 595 questionnaires generated which gave a response rate of 40.36% for the study (Criss, 2010). The measures used were direct and indirect encounters with client violence, along with future fear of violence and three types of occupational commitment. Demographic questions included gender, race, age and years of paid social work experience. Five types of client violence were measured which included physical assault, threat of physical harm, verbal abuse, threat of lawsuit and damage to personal or agency property. Respondents were to specify how many time they directly experienced any of these types of violence during their field practice In addition, each respondent was to indicate the number of times they witnessed or heard about colleagues being exposed
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