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Understanding neighbourhoods, communities and environments: new approaches for social work research

Holland, Sally ORCID:, Burgess, Stephen James, Grogan-Kaylor, Andy and Delva, Jorge 2010. Understanding neighbourhoods, communities and environments: new approaches for social work research. British Journal of Social Work 41 (4) , pp. 689-707. 10.1093/bjsw/bcq123

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This article discusses some new ways in which social work research can explore the interaction between neighbourhoods and child and adult well-being. The authors note that social work practices are often criticised for taking an individualistic approach and paying too little attention to the service user's environment. The article uses examples of research projects from Chile, the USA and Wales, to discuss the use of spatially oriented research methods for understanding neighbourhood factors. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches that are particularly appropriate for investigating social work-relevant topics are discussed in turn, including quantitative and qualitative uses for geographical information systems (GIS), hierarchical linear modelling (HLM) for analysing spatially clustered data and qualitative mobile interviews. The article continues with a discussion of the strengths and limitations of using spatially orientated research designs in social work research settings and concludes optimistically with suggestions for future directions in this area.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0045-3102
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:35

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