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Carney, Jeremy William; Ph.D.
Program of Education
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
November 2007

Social Work Education in Dual Relationships: An Analysis of Undergraduate Knowledge of Ethical Relationships

Major Professor: Dr. Myron Eighmy


This study examined ethics education as it relates to non-sexual dual relationships in accredited bachelor of social work programs in the state of Minnesota. The results of the study indicated that the majority of undergraduate social work students in Minnesota reported receiving instruction in ethical issues surrounding non-sexual dual relationships. Participants were asked to respond to 20 ethical dilemmas involving dual relationships. Two participant groups were used, one being a novice group made of university students in introductory social work courses. The second group was an advanced group that consisted of students completing their final advanced sources or field work. The study participants indicated if they believed the social worker was acting ethically or unethically in each scenario and how confident they were in their response. Of the 20 scenarios, advanced students answered 6 of them correctly significantly more often than the novice students. Novice students answered 3 of the 20 scenarios correctly significantly more often than the advance student participation. The advanced students were significantly more confident in answering all the scenarios. The novice students were also significantly more likely to indicate uncertainty when answering the scenarios in 18 of the 20 cases.

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Last Updated: Monday, November 21, 2011 2:06:49 PM