Journal Article

Increasing Military Social Work Knowledge: An Evaluation of Learning Outcomes

Mary Ann Forgey and Sharon L. Young

in Health & Social Work

Volume 39, issue 1, pages 7-15
Published in print February 2014 | ISSN: 0360-7283
Published online February 2014 | e-ISSN: 1545-6854 | DOI:
Increasing Military Social Work Knowledge: An Evaluation of Learning Outcomes

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Service members and veterans face a myriad of health, mental health, and social challenges stemming from the combat and operational stressors experienced during deployment and the challenges of reintegration to civilian life. To intervene effectively with this population, social workers must be knowledgeable about these issues and the cultural context within which they occur. Although schools of social work across the country are developing course work in military social work, little is known about the learning outcomes of these courses. This article describes a military social work course that was developed to increase student preparedness to work with a military or veteran population and the learning outcomes achieved. Using a quasi-experimental pre–post design, this study compared the learning outcomes of students enrolled in the course with a group of students who had not taken the course. To measure this knowledge, the authors developed a 50-item Military Social Work Knowledge Scale for the study. Significant differences between pre- and posttest scores were found for the social work students enrolled in the course. Specific areas of knowledge that increased for the class participants included knowledge about cultural sensitivity to military populations and knowledge about service and advocacy frameworks.

Keywords: military; military social work; social work education; veterans

Journal Article.  5214 words. 

Subjects: Social Work ; Health, Illness, and Medicine

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