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Girls at a Vocational High

Girls at a Vocational High

Copyright Date: 1965
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Girls at a Vocational High
    Book Description:

    Teachers, social workers, psychologists, and sociologists carried out an ambitious, six-year experiment in individual casework and group therapy with potential problem girls in a New York City vocational high school. Conducted in collaboration with Youth Consultation Service, this provocative study provides valuable data on adolescent girls-and raises compelling questions on the extent to which casework can be effective in interrupting deviant careers.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-670-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-2)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. 3-6)
    Leonard S. Cottrell Jr.

    Is social work on the wrong track?

    This impolite question is neither asked nor answered in this book. The aim of the study reported here was much more modest and practical perhaps, namely, to determine: (1) whether or not potentially problematic subjects can be identified and involved in preventive programs before they present problems, and (2) the extent to which social casework is effective in prevention when applied to subjects so identified and so involved. But in answering their own questions, and they do this extremely well, the authors unavoidably raise the larger question.

    Evaluation is a hazardous undertaking for...

  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 7-10)
    H. J. M., E. F. B. and W. C. J.
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. 11-14)
  5. I. Objectives and Rationale for the Study
    (pp. 15-22)

    This book describes a study of the consequences of providing social work services to high school girls whose record of earlier performance and behavior at school revealed them to be potentially deviant. Over the course of four years girls with potential problems who entered a vocational high school in New York City were identified from information available to the school. From this pool of students a random sample of cases was referred to an agency where they were offered casework or group counseling services by professional social workers. A control group was also selected at random from the same pool...

  6. II. The Plan for the Research Project and Its Implementation
    (pp. 23-50)

    After a brief description of the research design, this chapter will present some of the conditions required for its implementation and the procedures instituted for its fulfillment. The purpose is to describe not only the structure of the research project but the operating context within the organizations—the agency and the school—in which it was conducted.

    The basic plan of the research was a simple experimental design requiring random assignment of adolescent girls with potential problems (1) as clients of Youth Consultation Service to constitute anexperimentalsample, that is, to receive treatment, and (2) as members of a...

  7. III. Social Characteristics of Potential Problem Girls Within the Total School Population
    (pp. 51-89)

    Since descriptive information about the social characteristics of high school students is not commonly available, this chapter will describe the characteristics of the total population of girls attending Vocational High. It also has three other objectives: (1) to compare the segment of the student population designated as “potential problem cases” with the students not deemed to be potential problems, termed “residual cases”; (2) to compare the potential problem cases that were referred to Youth Consultation Service (identified as “experimental cases”) with the potential problem cases that were not referred (identified as “control cases”); and (3) to note any changes in...

  8. IV. Treatment Philosophy and Rationale
    (pp. 90-109)

    A conscious attempt was made by the staff of Youth Consultation Service to integrate the demands of the research design of the project into the general philosophy and rationale of the agency’s casework services. These do not differ in important respects from the practices and principles customarily associated with diagnostic casework. The experimental attitude pervading the activities at YCS enabled the agency not only to adjust to the rigorous design of the research, but also to profit from its day-to-day experiences. In the second year, the staff concluded that limitations of the individual treatment plan originally proposed warranted a shift...

  9. V. Treatment Experiences and Observations
    (pp. 110-147)

    The objective evaluation of the results of this project and the effectiveness of the treatment intervention was built into the research design as a comparison of the treated sample cases and the untreated control cases. However, among the experimental cases there were variations in the type of service offered, in the efficiency with which contact was established and maintained, in the degree of involvement achieved, and in the amount of time expended on each case. Social workers and group therapists are accustomed to categorizing cases along these as well as more clinical and diagnostic dimensions. In supervision and consultation, varying...

  10. VI. Staff Ratings of Clients in Individual and Group Treatment
    (pp. 148-157)

    The two preceding chapters presented the views of those who directed the individual and group treatment programs provided for the girls at Vocational High who were referred to Youth Consultation Service. The judgments expressed, although based on the records as well as on personal participation, represent generalized statements formulated in reference to categories of clients and types of treatment effort. The perspective of the total treatment program, rather than the observation of each treated case, is necessarily adopted. Documentation of observations and evaluations is illustrative rather than quantitative.

    To obtain a case-by-case assessment of the sense of accomplishment as seen...

  11. VII. Effects of Social Work Service: Objective Criteria
    (pp. 158-180)

    In the directly preceding chapters we have described the girls who participated in the individual and group treatment programs as seen through the eyes of the social workers who served them and in terms of the treatment program as it developed and was applied. In this chapter and the one following we will compare these experimental cases with their counterpart control cases.

    It has been demonstrated in Chapter III that experimental and control cases were, as intended, essentially alike at the beginning of the experimental project. This was to be expected from the random procedure of assigning potential problem cases...

  12. VIII. Effects of Social Work Service: Self-Reports and Responses
    (pp. 181-204)

    The objective criteria of effects considered in the preceding chapter are unquestionably among the types of outcomes that the therapeutic program hoped to achieve. Using these criteria, the effects were very limited, being represented by tendencies and consistencies in the data rather than by clear experimental conclusions. Such effects, whatever their magnitude, may be considered secondary, in the sense that the treatment program was only indirectly focused upon them; the caseworkers and group therapists did not define their treatment goals directly in such terms as: “to reduce truancy,” “to improve school grades and conduct,” “to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancy,” and so...

  13. IX. Conclusions and Implications
    (pp. 205-218)

    The implications to be drawn from the research and the program of service to high school girls described in the preceding chapters go beyond a summary of findings. It is the purpose of this concluding chapter to comment on the project and its results and also to consider broader issues associated with evaluative research in social welfare.

    Systematic and rigorous evaluative research concerning programs of social welfare is still so uncommon that it is quite appropriate to consider the execution of this project as a demonstration.¹ It has shown that it is possible to carry out a complex research design...

  14. INDEX
    (pp. 219-225)