Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2002

Publication Title

Journal of Social Service Research

Volume

29

Issue

1

First Page

37

Last Page

55

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J079v29n01_02

Keywords

Feminism, social work practice, practice theories, meta-analysis, review, group work, family violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse

Abstract

This integrative review of the effectiveness of feminist social work methods compared 35 independent studies of feminist interventions with 44 independent studies of social work practice that were based on other theoretical orientations. Feminist interventions were observed to be more effective than those based on other practice models. And among feminist social work interventions, radical methods seemed to be more effective than liberal methods. These findings are consistent with a theory by target system interaction that was suggested by a previous meta-analysis (Gorey, Thyer, & Pawluck, 1998). While personal theoretical orientations such as cognitive-behavioral modes of practice seem more supportive of individual client change, systemic-structural models, including feminist ones, seem to be more effective in supporting mutual client-worker strategies to change larger system targets. This study’s review-generated finding of feminist, specifically radical feminist, social work’s differential effectiveness is essentially a screened hypothesis. Its validity remains to be tested with well controlled primary research.

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