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Publication Date


Document Type



School for Social Work


Social work education-Evaluation, Social workers-Training of, Suicide-Prevention, Suicide-Risk assessment, Suicide, Training, Risk assessment, Social work, Program evaluation


Despite the fact that suicide is a major public health problem, current research indicates that little attention is given to educating and training social work students and professionals in suicide prevention and intervention (Feldman and Freedenthal, 2006; Sanders, Jacobson, and Ting, 2008). This quasi-experimental study assessed the impact of a 6.5 hour training on assessing and managing suicide risk (AMSR) with a group of social work graduate students using a nonequivalent post-test only control group design. The convenience sample (N=72) of social work students enrolled in MSW program at a mid-sized Northeastern University were self selected. The experimental group (n=38) attended the AMSR training and completed a post-test consisting of a demographic questionnaire and three assessments. The control group (n=34) did not attend the training but completed the same post-test assessments. The three measurement instruments used in this study were: a knowledge test of suicide, the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI-2) and three questions regarding participants' self-ratings of confidence of knowledge and ability to assess and manage suicide risk. Study hypotheses predicted that students who participated in the AMSR training would demonstrate higher levels of knowledge, skills, and confidence regarding assessment and management of suicide risk, than students who had not received the AMSR training. Results from the study supported the hypotheses. These findings indicated the benefits of structured training on assessing and managing suicide specifically with social work trainees.




iv, 125 p. Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 89-99)