The author’s primary research question
The author’s primary research question is as follows: “How do potential clients, when confronted with an agency-initiated offer of service, decide whether to accept or decline that offer?” (Altman, 2003, p. 472). The author wanted to investigate what factors (beliefs, perceptions, expectations, or attributions) influenced potential clients in their decision-making processes when they had to either accept or decline an offer from a social work practitioner. The potential clients were mothers from high-risk (neglect or child) abuse families who were to decide whether they needed help with their children or not.
The assumptions that this study is based on
This study is based on the following assumptions:
- The clients’ decision about their participation in social work service depends on their perceived need and their belief about the fit and efficacy of the service.
- The role of costs and benefits of participation is also crucial for their decision-making process.
Why qualitative methods were the most appropriate to study this issue
The author feels that qualitative methods were the most appropriate to study this issue because they address how, why, when, where, and whom questions and enable better comprehension of the clients’ experiences and perceptions. A qualitative research method allows researchers to ask questions that cannot be put in numbers and calculated, but these questions can be used to analyze and understand human feelings and experience better.
Altman, J.C. (2003). A qualitative examination of client participation in agency-initiated services. Families in Society, 84(4), 471-479.