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Home > Predictors of role legitimacy and role adequacy of social workers working with substance-using clients.

Loughran, Hilda and Hohman, Melinda and Finnegan, Daniel (2010) Predictors of role legitimacy and role adequacy of social workers working with substance-using clients. British Journal of Social Work , 40 , (1) , pp. 239-256.

Role adequacy (feeling knowledgeable about one's work) and role legitimacy (believing that one has the right to address certain client issues) have long been key theoretical constructs regarding explanations why various helping professionals are reluctant to address drug misuse problems with clients. This study examines these concepts in a sample of social workers and social work students. Using regression analysis, it was determined that the social workers who had more clients with drug problems, had taken a course in drug work and had support for their role were more likely to feel legitimate in their work with drug-using clients. Training in drug use identification and intervention, being male, having more clients with drug problems and role support predicted role adequacy. Having a Master's degree, work setting and job function were not related to role adequacy or role legitimacy. Implications for social work education are discussed.


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