Date of Award
Master of Social Work
School of Social Work
First Reader/Committee Chair
Social workers who choose to work in the field of child welfare will almost unavoidably be exposed to sexual trauma. This requires that social workers are prepared to understand and work with those who have been sexually abused, as well as the perpetrators of sex crimes. The purpose of this study was to explore social work students’ perceptions of sex offenders since it is anticipated that they will work with the sex offender population at some point in their careers. Exploring this topic could help future social workers gain valuable knowledge related to recognizing barriers that may exist when working with sex offenders. To study social work students’ perceptions of sex offenders, quantitative data were collected using a fifty item online survey instrument that was distributed via the Qualtrics website. In addition, t-tests, ANOVA, and Chi-square analysis were conducted using the SPSS analytical software program version 21. The findings of this study suggest that there were no significant differences between participants’ gender regarding their perceptions of sex offenders. Furthermore, the study found that overall, social work students’ perceptions are that there are more male sex offenders than female and juvenile sex offenders. The findings of this study suggest that further research is needed in order to explore social work practitioners’ perceptions of sex offenders since there is a likelihood that social works will work with this population at some point in their careers.
Bernal, Mayra and Meza, Henry Christopher, "SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF SEX OFFENDERS" (2015). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 159.