Private Pain, Public Choices: Influence of Problems in the Family of Origin on Career Choices Among a Cohort of MSW Students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrea G. Hunter, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study draws on a survey of 126 graduate social work students from a large school of social work in the United States to investigate the impact of family problems on career choices. Sixty-nine percent of the students indicated they had a family history of problems related to substance abuse (44%), psychopathology (43%), compulsive disorders (17%), and/or violence (35%). Students who report more indicators of psychopathology and violence were more likely to see their family history as influential in their career choice. These students were also more likely to select mental health/health as a practice area. However, no differences were found between students without a family history of problems and those who did not see their family history as influential. Students' history of family problems and their perceptions of its influence on career choice did not affect the likelihood of selecting a practice method. The authors discuss the implications of these findings and conclude with a series of recommendations for social work education.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2005
Career Choice, Social Work Education, Family Origin, Family Trauma, Family Dysfunction

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