Show Summary Details

Language and references updated to reflect recent research.

Updated on 30 June 2020. The previous version of this content can be found here.
Page of

PRINTED FROM the Encyclopedia of Social Work, accessed online. (c) National Association of Social Workers and Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the applicable license agreement governing use of the Encyclopedia of Social Work accessed online, an authorized individual user may print out a PDF of a single article for personal use, only (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This overview highlights the current status of group practice, examines the conceptual frameworks for working with groups, reviews the status of group work practice research, and identifies challenges for practice. The discussion examines how the numerous frameworks in social work with groups are joined by adherence to a systemic perspective, an understanding of group dynamics, common intervention concepts, and processes important to phases of intervention. While group work writings and practice have always emphasized the importance of opposing injustices, recent literature has taken a strong position on how group work theory and practice are related to the pursuit of social justice. Although recent studies on social group work are characterized by increasing attention to design, data collection, and analysis, research is still at a developing stage. The discussion of challenges points to areas that are of special importance in current and future practice, including diversity in composition, a commitment to attaining social justice, changing membership, involuntary membership, new professional roles, and use of technology.

Keywords: group work, group therapy, group composition, group diversity, group research, group worker, group practice, evaluation of group work

Access to the complete content on Encyclopedia of Social Work requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.