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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Davis, Thomas


This study utilized a quantitative survey design in order to explore the perceptions and preparedness of Master of Social Work (MSW) students in regards to substance using clients. The study was exploratory and the data that was collected focused on the perceptions, attitudes, and level of preparedness of forty MSW students. The study used a self-report survey that included demographic questions in order to identify factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, cohort placement, current year in the program, formal training, and declared specialization. This study found that the perceptions and attitudes of MSW students were mixed and varied across the board. Results indicated that formal training contributed to level of preparedness and that a large majority of the sample felt that taking a substance use course would contribute to preparedness. The study also found that the majority of the sample felt that their MSW program did not contribute to preparedness. The study recommends that future studies on perceptions and preparedness of MSW students collect data from more than one MSW program and include qualitative interviews in order to gain a better understanding of MSW students’ perceptions.