Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Curt Paulsen

Second Advisor

Anthony Bibus

Third Advisor

Alice Tennis


Recently, there has been growing interest in the role of spirituality in social work practice. Many practitioners support the inclusion of spirituality in social work practice, but there is a lack of understanding of how this can be accomplished. This exploratory qualitative study was undertaken to expand the understanding of social worker attitudes toward spirituality in practice. Five hospital social workers were interviewed using a structured interview schedule. The interviews focused on practitioners' definitions of spirituality, the factors that had influenced their definition, and the factors that influence how they respond to spirituality in practice. Themes of childhood experiences, academic experiences, and life traumas were found to be significant influencing factors. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Wheeler.DM

Included in

Social Work Commons