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Bill Nugent

Measurement is a fundamentally important component of social work research. This entry briefly covers two important notions in psychometrics: reliability and validity. Reliability concerns errors of measurement, and validity concerns the accuracy of the inferences that are made from scores from a measurement procedure. Both norm-referenced and criterion-referenced measurement procedures are discussed.


Shenyang Guo

This entry describes the definition, history, theories, and applications of quantitative methods in social work research. Unlike qualitative research, quantitative research emphasizes precise, objective, and generalizable findings. Quantitative methods are based on numerous probability and statistical theories, with rigorous proofs and support from both simulated and empirical data. Regression analysis plays a paramountly important role in contemporary statistical methods, which include event history analysis, generalized linear modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, propensity score matching, and structural equation modeling. Quantitative methods can be employed in all stages of a scientific inquiry ranging from sample selection to final data analysis.


Tony Tripodi and Marina Lalayants

This entry reviews the state of social work research from the appearance of the social work research overview in the previous encyclopedia to the early 2010s. Social work research is defined, and its purposes, contents, training, location, and auspices are briefly discussed. Continuing issues and developments, as well as the emerging developments of evidence-based practice, practice-based research, cultural competence, and international social work research, are featured.