Request Inspection Copy

If you are an Academic or Teacher and wish to consider this book as a prescribed textbook for your course, you may be eligible for a complimentary inspection copy. Please complete this form, including information about your position, campus and course, before adding to cart.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on


Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

Practice of Research in Social Work 4ed

by Rafael Engel and Russell Schutt SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Pbk 496 pages
AU$277.00 NZ$286.96
Product Status: In Stock Now
add to your cart
& Academics:
Available as eBook
AU$221.00 | NZ$252.52

Other Available Formats:

Principles of evidence-based practice come alive through illustrations of actual social work research in this Fourth Edition of Rafael J. Engel and Russell K. Schutt's The Practice of Research in Social Work.


The authors introduce research methods as an integrated set of techniques for investigating problems encountered in social work, directly linking each topic to issues associated with ethics, diversity, and evidence-based practice.

CHAPTER 1. Science, Society, and Social Work Research
Reasoning About the Social World
Everyday Errors in Reasoning
The Social Scientific Approach
Social Work and the Social World
Research in the News: Why Did New York City's Homeless Population Increase?
Social Work Research and Evidence-Based Practice
Social Work Research in Practice
Alternative Research Orientations
Social Work Research in a Diverse Society
CHAPTER 2. The Process of Social Work Research
Social Work Research Questions
Consider Social Diversity when Formulating a Question
Foundations of Social Work Research
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Theory and Social Work Research
Research in the News: Does Money Buy Happiness?
Alternative Research Strategies
Social Research Standards
CHAPTER 3. Ethical and Scientific Guidelines for Social Work Research
Research on People
Historical Background
Research in the News: Is it Ethical Science?
Ethical Principles
Institutional Review Board Reviews
Internet Research
Scientific Guidelines for Social Work Research
CHAPTER 4. Measurement
Research in the News: What is your Race?
From Concepts to Observations
Levels of Measurement
Measurement Error
Assessing Measurement Accuracy
Measurement Validity
Ways to Improve Reliability and Validity of Existing Measures
Using Scales to Identify a Clinical Status
Measurement in a Diverse Society
Measurement Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
CHAPTER 5. Sampling
Sample Planning
Research in the News: What are the Best Practices for Sampling Vulnerable Populations?
Sampling Methods
Sampling Distributions
Recruitment Strategies with Diverse Populations
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
CHAPTER 6. Causation and Research Design
Research Design Alternatives
Research in the News: Why is Child Poverty so High?
Criteria for Quantitative (Nomothetic) Causal Explanations
Comparing Research Designs
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
CHAPTER 7. Group Experimental Designs
Threats to the Validity of Group Experimental Designs
Features of True Experiments
Types of True Experimental Designs
Quasi-experimental Designs
Nonexperimental Designs
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Diversity, Group Design, and Evidence-Based Practice
Ethical Issues in Experimental Research
CHAPTER 8. Single-Subject Design
Foundations of Single-Subject Design
Measuring Targets of Intervention
Analyzing Single-Subject Designs
Types of Single-Subject Designs
Research in the News: Exercise Your Brain?
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Single-Subject Design in a Diverse Society
Ethical Issues in Single-Subject Design
CHAPTER 9. Survey Research
Survey Research in Social Work
Designing Questionnaires
Writing Questions
Refine and Test Questions
Survey Design Alternatives
Survey Research Design in a Diverse Society
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Ethical Issues in Survey Research
CHAPTER 10. Qualitative Methods
Fundamentals of Qualitative Methods
Participant Observation
Intensive Interviewing
Research in the News: Can Taping Interviews Capture a Trend?
Interviewing Online
Focus Groups
Community-based Participatory Research
Qualitative Research in a Diverse Society
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research
CHAPTER 11. Qualitative Data Analysis
Features of Qualitative Data Analysis
Techniques of Qualitative Data Analysis
Alternatives in Qualitative Data Analysis
Research in the News: What's in a Message?
Content Analysis
Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis
Implications for Evidence-based Practice
Ethics in Qualitative Data Analysis
CHAPTER 12. Secondary Data Analysis and Mixed Methods
Secondary Data Analysis
Mixed Methods
CHAPTER 13. Evaluation Research
Evaluation Basics
Describing the Program: The Logic Model
Questions for Evaluation Research
Design Decisions
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Evaluation Research in a Diverse Society
Ethics in Evaluation
CHAPTER 14. Quantitative Data Analysis
Introducing Statistics
Preparing Data for Analysis
Displaying Univariate Distributions
Summarizing Univariate Distributions
Describing Relationships Among Variables
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Quantitative Data Analysis in a Diverse Society
Ethical Issues: Avoiding Misleading Findings
CHAPTER 15. Reporting Research
Beginning With a Research Proposal
Writing Can Be Frustrating!
Reporting Results
Research in the News: How Much Should Social Scientists Report?
Poster Presentations
Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Social Work Research in a Diverse Society
Ethical Considerations
Appendix A. Questions to Ask About a Quantitative Research Article
Appendix B. How to Read a Quantitative Research Article
Appendix C. Questions to Ask About a Qualitative Research Article
Appendix D. How to Read a Qualitative Research Article

Rafael J. Engel - University of Pittsburgh, USA

Russell K. Schutt - University of Massachusetts Boston

Rafael J. Engel, PhD, is Associate Professor University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania). He received his PhD (1988) from the University of Wisconsin, his MSW (1979) from the University of Michigan, and his BA (1978) from the University of Pennsylvania. He coordinates the graduate certificate program in aging and is the Principal Investigator for the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education. He has written Fundamentals of Social Work Research (with Russell Schutt) and Measuring Race and Ethnicity (with Larry E. Davis). He is a member of the editorial board of Race and Social Problems. He has authored journal articles about poverty in later life, welfare benefits, and depressive symptomatology, and he has written a variety of monographs reporting agency-based evaluations. His most recent research addresses older adults and responsible gambling. Russell K. Schutt, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Lecturer on Sociology in the Department of Psychiatry (Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center) at the Harvard Medical School. He completed his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. (1977) degrees at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Sociology of Social Control Training Program at Yale University (1977a1979). He has authored and co-authored texts on research methods with Sage Publications and other books on social service issues, including Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness (Harvard University Press, 2011). His recent journal articles and funded research have focused on the organization and effects of innovative public health and social service programs.