SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1          Chen, S., Jordan, C., & Thompson, S. (2006). The effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on depression: The role of problem-solving appraisal. Research on Social Work Practice, 16(5), 500-510. DOI: 10.1177/1049731506287302
Objective: Many studies have confirmed the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a treatment for depression. However, the mechanism of CBT for depression reduction is still not well understood. This study explored the mechanism of CBT from the perspective of individuals’ problem-solving appraisal. Method: A one-group pretest/posttest design was used. Results were based on the responses of 30 depressed individuals in an intensive outpatient program. Results: Findings supported the research hypothesis that the more individuals improved their problem-solving appraisal, the more their depression decreased. Additionally, it was discovered that the poorer individuals’ problem-solving appraisal before the CBT, the more improvement they had on depression and problem solving appraisal after the CBT. Conclusions: In sum, findings suggested that problem-solving appraisal might play an important part in CBT for depression reduction. Furthermore, CBT seemed to have a ceiling effect on improving individuals’ problem-solving appraisal.
Questions to Consider:
  1. There is some variability in the manifestations of depression (without a co-occurring disorder) among individuals. Would the application of CBT vary among individuals with depression as well? Can all cognitive techniques be applied to all depressed individuals?
  2. Are there pre-depression cognitive deficiencies that contribute to depression? How does an individual know they are deficient in these skill sets?
  3. How important are problem-solving skills in relation to depression?
  4. Could there be a significant difference between males and females in reporting depression symptoms? Would pharmacological therapy be better suited for men as opposed to CBT for women? Why or why not?
Article 2          Mo Yee Lee, M. Y., Uken, A., & Sebold, J. (2007). Role of self-determined goals in predicting recidivism in domestic violence offenders. Research on Social Work Practice, 17(1), 30-41. DOI: 10.1177/1049731506294375
This study investigated the role of self-determined goals in predicting recidivism in domestic violence offenders. Method: The study was a posttest design with an annual follow-up of recidivism data of 88 court- mandated batterers who attended a solution-focused, goal-directed treatment program. We hypothesized that goal commitment, goal specificity, and goal agreement would predict recidivism, and that confidence to work on goals would affect the degree to which these factors predicted recidivism. Results: The recidivism rate for program participants was 10.2%, and the final model accounted for 58% of variance in recidivism. The model indicated that goal specificity and goal agreement positively predicted confidence to work on goals, which negatively predicted recidivism. Conclusions: Significance of the study was discussed with respect to the potential positive impact of utilizing self-determined goals, language of “self-determination,” and “strengths and solutions” in batterer treatment as well as advances in social work intervention research.
Questions to Consider:
  1. Which social work value(s) and behavioral theories might support this strength-based, goal-driven perspective?
  2. Why does the author state that “choice” of a domestic violence treatment program is more than a clinical decision? How is this decision empirical or even political?
  3. How can domestic violence offenders become motivated to change her/his behavior?
  4. Does an individual need a certain level of cognitive skills to self-identify and commit to goals that address behavior change? How is goal-agreement between the client and social worker tied to client self-efficacy?