Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Gretchen Heidemann


The study aimed at exploring the extent that social workers feel competent and confident to respond to client resistance behavior. A quantitative technique using a survey questionnaire, including a standardized scale adapted by the researchers, was used to gather information regarding social workers' level of preparedness to respond to client resistance behaviors. Data was collected using Qualtrics from 137 participants, and 116 were analyzed (21 contained incomplete data). Data was analyzed utilizing SPSS. The results of two Independent Samples T-tests indicated that there is a significant difference between social workers who have less than 6.47 years of experience and those who have 6.47 or more years of experience in terms of their level of preparedness to respond to client resistance behavior (p=0.018), but not between those with higher (e.g., Master's) versus lower (e.g., Bachelor's or less) levels of education. This finding appears to indicate that confidence/competence in dealing with client resistance behavior is not obtained through education, but rather through on-the-job experience and over many years. Implications for micro and macro social work practice include the need for additional education during Bachelor's and Master's social work courses, as well as training related to client resistance behavior during field placements and early in social workers' careers.

Included in

Social Work Commons