Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


The study explored the perceptions of clinical therapists who have conducted treatment on adults who live in poverty with an anxiety related disorder. Previous studies have discussed the relationship between poverty and the development of anxiety related disorders, while others have discussed the negative impacts anxiety can have on physical health, mental health, and social functioning. To improve the efficacy of therapeutic intervention for low income adults with anxiety related disorders, the study explored what clinicians believe are the most effective aspects of therapy to utilize. The study elicited qualitative data, reflecting on the experiences of ten participants who had at least two years of clinical practice with low income adults who suffered from an anxiety disorder. The data was collected through face-to-face interviews, and analyzed the challenges and successes that therapists experienced in their clinical practice. The study found that clinicians viewed cognitive-behavioral approaches as the most effective treatment model when treating this population. The study also revealed that clinical practice experience was perceived to lead to higher rates of positive treatment outcomes. Based on the findings of the study, we recommend that that clinical social workers and agencies continue to utilize and adapt cognitive behavioral approaches when treating low-income adults who suffer from anxiety related disorders.

Included in

Social Work Commons