Revisiting the benefits debate: Does qualitative social work research produce salubrious effects?

Judith L.M. McCoyd, Corey S. Shdaimah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Social work discussion about the intersection of therapy and research has been heated. There is ongoing theoretical debate about the fit of qualitative research and social work practice, as well as the proper goals and potential impact of clinical research. In this article, two qualitative researchers report empirical findings and discuss the implications of their research participants' unsolicited identification of the benefits of engaging in intensive interviews. These benefits include therapeutic benefits such as telling a story to an interested, empathic researcher and experiencing social validation in having one's story accepted; a sense that participants' experiences may be joined with others through the research process to create or enhance voices of stigmatized or marginalized populations; and the possibility that the research, through publication and dissemination, will influence individuals and society to become aware of the social justice and political implications of research participants' experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-349
Number of pages10
JournalSocial work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Qualitative research
  • Research ethics
  • Research participation
  • Social justice
  • Stigma


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