Professional Commitment in Novice Social Work Students: Socio-Demographic Characteristics, Motives and Perceptions of the Profession

Anat Freund*, Edith Blit-Cohen, Ayala Cohen, Nicole Dehan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The article attempts to define the characteristics of students at the beginning of their social work studies in institutes of higher education in Israel, including demographic characteristics, motives for choosing the profession, perceptions about the profession, and commitment to the profession. The study was conducted among a sample of 450 students, all beginning their first academic year, at four social work schools in Israel. Study findings show a demographic range, such as: nationality, level of religiosity, and political attitudes. Findings indicate that three of these socio-demographic variables predict commitment to the profession at the onset of academic studies: psychometric score, level of religiosity, and previous academic learning experience. Findings indicate two profiles of novice students: students who choose to study social work out of a desire to bring about social change; and students who choose to engage only in clinical social work. The latter are not committed to the profession in its essence, but rather recognize the importance of its professional individual activities only. The article discusses these findings and implications with regard to both the social work profession and social work training.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)867-887
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Commitment to the Profession
  • Motives for Studying the Profession
  • Professional Training
  • Social Work Schools

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