Assessing Clinical MSW Students’ Attitudes, Attributions, and Responses to Poverty

Katharine M. Hill, Jessica E. Toft, Kendra J. Garrett, Sarah M. Ferguson, Carol F. Kuechler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The choices social workers make to assist people in poverty may be attributable to the attitudes they bring to their social work education but might also be attributable to the explanations for poverty they learned during their programs. This study surveyed 337 students in a clinical MSW program about their attitudes toward the poor, attributions for poverty, and beliefs regarding models of interventions regarding poverty. Students preferred structural attributions for poverty over individual attributions for poverty. They also strongly endorsed structural responses ut simultaneously endorsed psychological responses. Future research should investigate students’ connections between attitudes towards the poor, attributions for poverty and beliefs regarding intervention responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-416
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Poverty
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • poverty alleviation
  • social justice
  • survey research


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