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Using Personal Quality Assessment for Selection of Social Work Students

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The social work profession has long struggled to find fair and effective ways of selecting students into their education programs. A psychometric test battery, gathered together under the title "Personal Qualities Assessment" (PQA) has been developed at the University of Newcastle to identify a range of qualities in aspiring health professionals. Two of its components were used to determine whether there was a relationship between scores obtained by social work students in these tests and scores achieved in an empathic listening and critical review hurdle assessment prior to the first field placement. The results showed that social work students who were moderately empathic, not narcissistic, and moderately libertarian in their moral orientation performed better on the assessment than students who were less empathic, more narcissistic, or extreme in their moral orientation. These results suggest that measurement of these qualities could be useful in selecting the most suitable individuals for social work programs.
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Keywords: Gate-keeping; Personal Qualities; Student Selection

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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