Worker perceptions of group development: Testing the applicability of the Boston model for the stages of group development
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Although group work is widely used in the field of social work, there has been little empirical attention paid to the theoretical concept of group development. Thus there is a need for a better understanding of group development in social group work. This study examines the applicability of the Boston model for the stages of group development from the social worker's perspective. The Boston model is a prominent model of group development in social work. This study is a quantitative study that used an internet survey to question members from the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups about the developmental pathway of their groups. The factors that influence the development of closed-ended groups such as gender and oppression status of group members were investigated. The data were analyzed by the use of chi-square and logistical regression (Weinbacht & Grinnell, 2001). The findings suggest that certain groups were more likely to develop along the lines of the Boston model. These groups included those who were considered by the group workers surveyed to be predominantly oppressed and of low income, as well as groups predominantly non-white and of mixed ethnicity. Future studies should consider expanding the study population to include other groups of social workers.
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