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A Cluster Analysis of School Social Work Practice Tasks, Perceived Effectiveness and Request for Mental Health Services

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Abstract:

School social workers face requests for a myriad of mental health services. Because practice tasks are usually completed according to the services requested, different types of request may affect school social workers' perceived competency in completing mental health tasks. The objective of this study is to classify practice tasks in terms of request for services and perceived effectiveness in task completion. The study further examines how these groupings of service requests, as well as years practiced in a service area, influence groupings of perception of practice task effectiveness. Using data from a sample of Midwestern school social workers, a hierarchical cluster analysis was used in requests and perceived task effectiveness classifications. Three regression models, one for each perceived effectiveness cluster, were conducted using the request for services and years practiced clusters. The findings indicate that request types had a varying effect on the perceived efficacy of different tasks. Discussion follows on how future school-based social work interventions could use these findings to tailor their efforts on the basis of school service requests and the social worker's perceived efficacy to deliver the necessary tasks to predict intervention effectiveness.

Keywords: INTERVENTIONS; PERCEIVED EFFECTIVENESS; SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK; SERVICE REQUESTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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  • Published by The Clifford Beers Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Advances in School Mental Health Promotion emphasises the interconnectedness of research, policy, training and practice and the opportunities to make progress in all these areas through global dialogue, collaboration and action. Mark Weist (University of South Carolina and former director/senior advisor of the Center for School Mental Health) and Michael Murray (The Clifford Beers Foundation) are the editors, supported by a distinguished international editorial board.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is an academic journal that co-ordinates the dissemination of new research outcomes to all those involved in policy making and the implementation of mental health promotion in schools and is essential reading for those with a personal or professional interest in this work.

    Peer reviewed by an expert international board, the Journal is a comprehensive information resource which publishes material of distinction submitted by those with a clinical, professional, academic or personal interest in promoting mental health in schools

    The aim of the Journal is to increase awareness, foster understanding and promote collaboration between the different disciplines engaged in this diverse activity of study.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is the official journal of the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (InterCAMHS), an alliance that aims to promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

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