How do social workers define the concept of family?

Journal article citation:
British Journal of Social Work, 44(4), 2014, pp.992-1010.
Oxford University Press

This study examines how social workers define the concept of family, and how personal values, socio-demographic variables and personal acquaintance with non-traditional types of families affect these definitions. Five hundred and two Israeli social workers responded to an online questionnaire; 89.6–98.8 per cent of respondents attributed the ‘family’ label to any relationship or living arrangement involving children. Hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed that gender, religiosity, age, level of education, as well as universalism and benevolence values were direct predictors of a broad definition of the concept of family. In addition, the variable of personal acquaintance with non-traditional families was found to moderate some of the socio-demographic and the values examined. The discussion deals with how the respondents’ perception of family is consistent with the views of a society that promotes a high birth rate, and with the associations found between the study variables, and the importance of exposing social workers to non-traditional types of families. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
social workers, families, attitudes, values;
Content type:
Journal home page
ISSN online:
ISSN print:

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