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Causal attributions of poverty among social work faculty: a regression analysis
Social Work Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-02, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2021.1998428
Stephen W. Stoeffler, Stephen E. Kauffman, Rigaud Joseph


Social work faculty have a professional obligation to train students who will likely work with individuals and families in poverty. Yet it is unknown what social work faculty think about the etiology of poverty. This study filled a gap in the literature by examining factors associated with causal attributions of poverty among 1,037 full-time social work educators. Descriptive statistics revealed that, overall, social work educators’ beliefs about poverty reflect more the structural paradigm than the individualistic paradigm (M = 5.68, SD = 1.27 for structural items and M = 2.99, SD = 1.54 for individualistic items). Meanwhile, multivariate regression analysis results indicated that political ideology is the strongest predictor of poverty attributions among the study participants (β = −.324, p < .01). The implications of these findings for social work education will be discussed.