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Book

Single-System Designs

Bruce A. Thyer

Single-system research designs (SSRDs) are investigatory methodologies intended to help the social worker answer two questions of fundamental importance to practice: “Have things changed?” and “Have things changed because of social work intervention?” The first of these can be deemed the evaluation question and is easy to answer relative to the second, which can be called the causal question. The undertaking of a SSRD has only two essential steps: Locate a reliable and valid outcome measure (dependent variable) that can be repeatedly assessed. Actually assess this outcome measure repeatedly over time. The term single-system does not mean that SSRDs are limited to studies involving given individuals. Rather, it means that some single unit of analysis is repeatedly measured over time. The unit of analysis in an SSRD can be an individual, a couple, a small group, a family, a community, or society as a whole. At the level of When ...

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