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Experimental Studies: The Assessment of Casework. Powers & Witmer (1951). evaluated Cambridge Somerville Youth Study 325 predelinquent boys received intensive casework services for an average of 5 years. 325 boys in a matched control group that did not receive casework

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powers witmer 1951
Powers & Witmer (1951)
  • evaluated Cambridge Somerville Youth Study
  • 325 predelinquent boys received intensive casework services for an average of 5 years.
  • 325 boys in a matched control group that did not receive casework
  • Findings: no significant differences on the measures that were hypothesized to change as a result of treatment (i.e., court records, police contacts, ratings of social adjustment, psychological inventories, etc.)
mccabe 1967

McCabe (1967)

 Conducted a similar study that targeted small group services on parents and children (group work).

Findings: no significant differences on measures thought to be influenced by the treatment.

meyer borgata jones 1965
Meyer, Borgata & Jones (1965)
  • Girls in Vocational High
  • began with 400 girls that test had identified as "potential problems"
  • used trained social workers to provide individual and group casework services
  • 189 in experiment, 192 matched control.
  • most girls received treatment over 3 years
  • Findings: on a variety of measures including school performance (grades), personality tests, and indications of behavioral problems (delinquency reports) there was no difference between experimental and control.
brown 1968

Brown (1968)

Services to Multiproblem Families

from 1200 AFDC families, drew 50 low income and two control groups.

experimental families received intensive casework services from trained social workers. treatment administered over a 2.5 year period.

Findings: no difference between the groups. in fact, all the families seemed to have changed little over the period of the study.

mullin chazin feldstein 1970

Mullin, Chazin & Feldstein (1970)

similar to Brown above. 88 randomly assigned to experiment, 68 to control.

Experimental group received intensive casework services for up to 2 years.

Findings: no statistically significant differences at end of study between the groups.

blenkner bloom nielsen 1971

Blenkner, Bloom & Nielsen (1971)

began with 164 elderly referred to a community agency because they were having difficulty caring for themselves.

76 randomly assigned to exper. group, 88 to control group.

The experimental group received intensive casework services, while control group received routine services.

Findings: no significant differences at outcome. Yet, there seemed to be a higher rate of institutionalization for the experimental group. What might be, the investigators asked, the consequence of this? Thus, they conducted a 5-year follow-up. On the most fundamental measure-- was the elderly person still alive, the ultimate criterion-- there was a significant difference between the groups, but if favored the control group.

mullen dumpson 1972

Mullen & Dumpson (1972)

Findings from a comprehensive review of available studies was that casework had little impact.

fischer 1973

Fischer (1973)

Established criterion for selecting best available studies-- use of a control group.

Examined literature between 1930 and 1970. Found 11 studies that meet this requirement.

Findings: None of the studies revealed that their program has any significant impact.

segal 1972

Segal (1972)

Therapeutic Intervention

Reviewed studies that used social workers in a therapeutic setting. What impact did treatment administered have?

Findings: "the evidence with respect to the effectiveness of social work therapeutic intervention remains equivocal. The trends in the data, however, point strongly in the negative direction."