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Social Work Research Topics & Tips on Finding and Distinguishing Good Ones

01 May 2019

Social work research is the systematic investigation of problems pertaining to the social work field. Alternatively, it can be defined as the application of research methods for addressing/solving problems confronted by social workers in their practice.

Major research areas include studying concepts, theories, principles, underlying methods, employees’ skills and their interaction with individuals and groups as well as internal processes, functioning principles within social entities. For a more specific selection of social work research topics, go to the appropriate section within this article.

Social work is ultimately focussed on practical application, hence, the ultimate goal of social work research is understanding the efficacy of various intervention methods aimed at alleviating the conditions of people suffering from social deprivation – this highlights the importance presented by both the field and its associated research.

Signs of Good Research Topics

Of all social work research questions, how could one distinguish the ones holding the greatest value or potential? Considering these signs could increase the chances of picking higher quality or more productive social work topics:

  • chosen topics are backed up by one or more published studies by research teams from the US or from abroad with solid article-related citation metrics, typically published in prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals (journals with high impact factor).
  • social work research topics in question are related to practice – theoretical research is very important but nothing beats practical knowledge and efficient practical intervention methods and strategies. However, this aspect might depend on other circumstances as well (for students, for instance, theoretical topics are fairly acceptable).
  • social work research topics are breaking certain stereotypes. People are inclined towards topics that break preconceived notions – such topics naturally receive greater attention. If they bring solid evidence and reasonable arguments while providing/promising real benefits, such topics can simply revolutionize the field.
  • chosen social work research topics match current trends. Don’t understand us wrong – not everything that is trendy deserves attention (many things are overhyped). However, trends do have a sound reason for emerging (there is normally value behind the forces driving them). Moreover, delving into a field/topic that has only been recently established often gives significant advantages (career-wise). So watch out trends in your research field closely, but always scrutinize them for what they are worth.

Read also: 100 Evaluation Essay Topics

Where Can You Find Perfect Topics?

When searching for social worker research topics, it might prove useful to follow a few proven strategies (which are equally valid for many other occasions):

  • skim through your study literature (e.g. handbooks, course notes) – this is material you already studied but going through it might help you to systematically visualize all studied topics or subtopics (these can suggest new ideas).
  • brainstorming. Access your knowledge base – chances are you have a few interesting topics stored in mind that you’d like to explore in greater detail.
  • browse through published article titles in social work journals or even better, study newsletters/highlights on journal websites. Alternatively, one could search on platforms aggregating field-related news from multiple journals.– while some articles/topics might be overly complicated or specific, these still offer an immense choice.
  • browse online for ready research topics for social work lists – skimming through such lists would bombard you with topics of appropriate complexity and scope /broadness or would inspire new related ideas (e.g. by combining elements from different topics).

Yet another way to pick a good topic is to get research paper writing help from our professional writers – they would manage all aspects including that of choosing an original and solid topic (obviously, you might be willing to confirm it, before proceeding with your writing project).

Read also: 120 Exciting Topics for Exploratory Essay

100 Social Work Research Topics

Below is a comprehensive social work research topics list to help get you started with your project.

50 Controversial Research Topics

  1. Group therapy vs individual therapy for increasing autistic children adaptability
  2. Impact on parents having children with autism spectrum disorder.
  3. Role play vs group discussion efficiency in increasing knowledge regarding drug abuse among high-school students.
  4. Addressing the stigma associated with depression.
  5. Measures to counteract condemning stereotypes with regard to depression (explaining and highlighting the biological mechanisms underlying it)
  6. Identifying individuals with suicide predisposition serving in military units.
  7. Life events role in PTSD onset in veterans.
  8. Strategies to prevent PTSD onset in US army veterans.
  9. Social inclusion measures for war veterans.
  10. Most efficient strategies for suicide prevention in academic setting.
  11. Categories are most vulnerable to drug abuse.
  12. Most efficient educational measures to prevent future drug abuse in children
  13. Myths about substance abuse among adolescents.
  14. Family support importance for alcohol addicts rehabilitation.
  15. Workaholics – new type of addicts. Impact on personal and family lives.
  16. Mental retardation in Alzheimer’s disease – how to cope with it as a family member?
  17. Promoting integration for children with Down syndrome.
  18. General considerations for working with children with developmental disabilities.
  19. Educating society with regard to dyslexic children (all target groups could be considered: parents, classmates, teachers, etc.)
  20. Dyslexia cases combined with ADHD – how to approach it?
  21. Dismounting common myths about dyslexia.
  22. Counteracting bullying aimed at dyslexic children.
  23. Early intervention benefits to address language difficulties in case of dyslexic children.
  24. What role should educators, parents, schools, mental health centers, private practice have in addressing dyslexia?
  25. Key prerequisites for building resilience to adverse life events in children
  26. Strategies for building resilience in welfare workers.
  27. Who is responsible for developing resilience in social workers?
  28. Self-help guidelines for social workers to become resilient.
  29. Most common problems encountered by LGBT youth in US schools.
  30. Arming LGBT individuals with coping strategies to face discrimination.
  31. The situation with juvenile delinquents across various US states.
  32. Rationale behind separating juvenile delinquents from adult delinquents.
  33. Factors contributing to high youth incarceration rate in certain US states (Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota).
  34. Most efficient reeducation strategies for juvenile delinquents.
  35. Society inclusion measures for people that served in prison.
  36. Coping with the stigma of having served in prison.
  37. Attitudes of welfare workers towards incarcerated individuals.
  38. Attitudes of correctional officers towards mental health of incarcerated individuals.
  39. Gender differences relevance when working with incarcerated people.
  40. Factors increasing the risk of recidivism in released prisoners.
  41. Incarceration impacts on parent-child relationships.
  42. Incarceration effects on mental health.
  43. Social inclusion role and family support in preventing recidivism by former prisoners.
  44. Circumstances associated with the highest risk of becoming a human trafficking victim.
  45. Ethical rules important when working with human trafficking victims.
  46. Trauma characteristic depiction for human trafficking victims.
  47. What is considered neglecting a child in child welfare?
  48. Prerequisites of a safe childhood and a functional family.
  49. Dealing with child abuse in orphanages.
  50. Types of child maltreatment/abuse.

Read also: Choose a professional writing service if you want to pay someone to write research paper.

50 Hot Research Topics for Social Work Students

  1. Difference in approaching children vs adolescents suffering from domestic violence.
  2. Success stories in preventing child abuse in certain regions/states.
  3. Strategies to encourage women to report domestic violence cases.
  4. Damage to families with ongoing domestic violence.
  5. Healing steps for victims of domestic violence.
  6. Effects of child neglect on later academic performance and career.
  7. Removing a child from a setting – when is it justified?
  8. Guidelines on providing testimony in court as a social worker
  9. Peculiarities of social work in health care assistance.
  10. Grief counseling for families that lost a loved one.
  11. Understanding the symptoms of grief.
  12. Risk factors for dangerous grief.
  13. Conduct/communication rules with persons in grief.
  14. Types of elder abuse. Which are the most common ones?
  15. Predictors of elder abuse (related to relationships within families, financial, status).
  16. The integrative concept of human services.
  17. The utility of mentoring programs in social care.
  18. Work with elders experiencing cognitive impairment.
  19. Peculiarities of working with immigrants in social care.
  20. Considerations for working with HIV positive people.
  21. Social research topics about homeless people.
  22. Primary factors contributing to homelessness.
  23. Challenges faced by social care assistants in working with sexually exploited clients belonging to the opposite gender.
  24. Meeting unique needs of sexually exploited children.
  25. Compassion fatigue experienced by welfare worker.
  26. Challenges experienced by single parents and support strategies
  27. Problem of getting medical help when belonging to vulnerable categories
  28. Is there place for spirituality in welfare worker?
  29. Religious beliefs obstructing welfare worker.
  30. Support strategies for low-income families having children with impaired development.
  31. Retrospective views and youth opinions on foster care facilities they have gone through.
  32. Key wishes/demands expressed by foster care facility residents
  33. Strategies employed by welfare worker to avoid burnout.
  34. Importance of building emotional intelligence as welfare worker.
  35. Discussing sexual health with mentally ill or retarded clients.
  36. Spirituality and faith as an essential element in many addiction rehabilitation programs.
  37. Attitude towards older people among welfare workers.
  38. Factors responsible for reluctance to benefit from mental health services among certain population groups.
  39. Differences in working with adolescent and adult drug abusers.
  40. Factors affecting foster youth that impact their higher education retention rate.
  41. Language barrier as an obstructing factor for minorities in benefiting from mental health services.
  42. Cultural competence as social work research topic
  43. Pre and post birth assistance to surrogate mothers. Evaluating impact on mental health.
  44. Challenges and issues arising in families with adoptive children.
  45. Play therapy interventions effectiveness in school-based counseling.
  46. Mental health in hemodialysis patients and corresponding support strategies.
  47. Importance presented by recreational activities for patients with Alzheimer’s.
  48. Intimacy impact on the outcome of group therapy practices for alcohol addiction.
  49. Mental health care outcomes in pedophilia victims.
  50. Alternative practices in social work.

Found Topic But No Time For Writing?

We truly hope that by providing this list of social work topics for research papers we’ve addressed an important challenge many students encounter. Nevertheless, choosing suitable social work research topics is not the only challenge when having to write a paper.

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