Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Smith College. School for Social Work-Students-Attitudes, Social work education, Religion, Spirituality, Quantitative research, Smith College School for Social Work-Graduate students, Attitudes, behaviors and experiences, Religion and spirituality, Social work practice


This study explored Smith School for Social Work students' overall attitudes towards the role of religion and spirituality in social work practice. The study examined the extent to which content of religion and spirituality have been included in students' education as well as how satisfied and prepared students feel in addressing these issues in practice. Lastly, this study explored students' attitudes, behaviors, and experiences concerning alternative conceptions of religious and spiritual factors in their understanding of mental illness. Fifty-nine students from the graduating classes of 2014-2016 who had clinical experience were recruited through social media to complete an online survey. Findings indicated a significant negative correlation between overall attitudes concerning the role of religion and spirituality in social work practice with two variables: satisfaction with and comprehensiveness of training. As student beliefs about the importance of religion and spirituality in social work practice intensified, feelings of satisfaction with training and beliefs about comprehensiveness of training decreased. Findings also show that instructors are insufficiently covering issues of religion and spirituality in their course content, readings, and classroom discussions, and that students would feel more satisfied and prepared if this focus within ongoing, required coursework was intensified.




iii, 54 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 40-46)

Limited Access until August 2020