Factor structure of a standards-based inventory of competencies in social work with groups

Mark J. Macgowan, Frank Dillon, Christine E. Spadola

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Purposes: This study extends previous findings on a measure of competencies based on Standards for Social Work Practice with Groups. The Inventory of Competencies in Social Work with Groups (ICSWG) measures confidence in performing the Standards. This study examines the latent structure of the Inventory, while illuminating the underlying structure of the Standards. Methods: A multinational sample of 586 persons completed the ICSWG. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA), reliability estimates, standard error of measurement estimates, and a range of validity tests were conducted. Results: The EFA yielded a six-factor solution consisting of core values, mutuality/connectivity, collaboration, and three phases of group development (planning, beginnings/middles, endings). The alphas were.98 for the scale and ranged from.85 to.95 for the subscales. Correlations between the subscales and validators supported evidence of construct validity. Discussion: The findings suggest key group work domains that should be taught and practiced in social work with groups.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)403-419
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Evidence-Informed Social Work
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Jul 4 2018


    • Group work
    • instrument development
    • social work with groups
    • standards

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Social Psychology
    • Sociology and Political Science


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